DHANGADHI: Fourteen persons, including two policemen, were injured in a clash that flared up between supporters of undivided far-west region and a Tharu crowd pitching for a separate Tharu state at Campus Chowk in Dhangadhi, as the strike enforced by undivided far-west supporters entered the 19th day today.
Central member of Rana Tharu Society Ram Samajh Rana, Rajesh Rawal and Hemanta Kunwar of Campus Road, Nokhiram Chaudhary and Mohan Mishra of Dhangadhi, Sher Bahadur Bista of Chauraha, Ramraj Shrestha of Hasanpur and Krishna Bogati of Dhangadhi were injured in the scuffle. They were rushed to Seti Zonal Hospital.
The clash broke out when undivided far-west supporters were on their way to Campus Chowk of Dhangadhi upon receiving the news that people heading to participate in a mass meet at Jilla Bikas Chowk had been stopped by a Tharu group. Tharu activists, who were backed by YCL cadres, were then confronted by undivided far-west supporters, resulting in a clash, despite security forces’ attempt to prevent the latter group from reaching Campus Chowk.
Undivided far-west supporters also smashed windowpanes of the office of the Tharuhat Autonomous State Council at Campus Road. They even vandalised an area office of the Maoist party. An ambulance belonging to Nepal Red Cross Society was also vandalised for ferrying the injured to the hospital.
According to Ram Janam Chaudhary, who was also injured in the clash, a group had forcefully taken him out while he was working and thrashed him. He has received three stitches on his head. According to police, the undivided far-west supporters also roughed up Maoist Kailali district co-in-charge Govind Timalsena.
Yesterday night, the two groups had clashed in Pahalmanpur of Kailali, leaving four Tharu activists and two undivided far-west supporters injured. Tharu activists had torched three motorbikes in Muda Bazaar this morning for defying bandh. A house and about 80 bicycles were set ablaze during the clash. Another scuffle occurred in Baniyan of Kailali this afternoon. Police fired three rounds of tear-gas shells. DSP Lal Bahadur Rawal and others were injured.SHIVARAJ BHATTA