Muslims call off protests after deal with govt

KATHMANDU, MAY 20 – The Joint Muslim National Struggle Committee (JMNSC) has withdrawn its ongoing protests after the government agreed to meet its demands. The dialogue held on Sunday between the committee and a government talk panel reached to an 11-point agreement that ranges from enlisting the Muslims as an indigenous community to include Islamic law in the constitution.

The government talk panel includes Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, Mahendra Yadav, Surya Man Gurung and Radha Gyawali, while the Muslim talk team was headed by JMNSC Chairman Sardul Miya Haak.

The agreement includes from giving proportional representation to the Muslim community and form a Muslim commission, increase the compensation amount for those injured and killed, to bestow on the Muslims fundamental rights similar to the ones to Dalit in the upcoming constitution.

The talk panel of cabinet ministers also agreed to consider Muslim friendly names while determining the name of Terai-Madesh states. It also agreed to observe the birthday of Prophet Muhammad with a public holiday and support the Hajj and Madrasha.

The latest agreement is largely an improvised form of the six-point deal the two sides had reached on April, 2009, assuring a unique recognition for the Muslim community in the new constitution.

National Muslim Federation Chairman Taaj Mohammad Miya said they will take to the streets if the agreement is not implemented. “The six-point agreement has not been implemented. So there are still some doubts about the agreement will be addressed,” said Taaj Mohammad Miya.

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