The withdrawal of the three-day nationwide shutdown enforced by the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (Nefin) offered no respite in the districts like Sunsari Saptari, Siraha, Mahottari, Bhojpur, Sankhuwasabha, Rupandehi, Jumla and Kailali, as the groups like the Broader Madhesi Front, Tharuhat Struggle Committee and the Sanghiya Limbuwan Sanjuhang Palungwa continued their shutdowns.
Marketplaces, educational institutions and transport services in these districts remained shut. Continuous banda has triggered shortage of essential goods including foodstuff and medicines in some districts.
The banda enforcers took to the streets from early morning force-closing shops and obstructing the vehicular movement. In Sunsari, the supporters of the Broader Madhesi Front vandalised some shops while enforcing the banda. Police apprehended 16 banda enforcers, who were later released after warning.
The shutdown also affected the daily life in Saptari. Continuous banda has triggered shortage of fuel and medicines in the district. In Siraha, banda supporters even closed the government offices and staged demonstrations in various parts of the district.
Janakpur town of Dhanusha continued to suffer under banda called by the Front for the fifth consecutive day. Perturbed by the banda, the business community in the town took out a rally demanding for an alternative to banda. In Mahottari, the banda supporters vandalised a vehicle with Indian number plate for defiance.
Meanwhile, Save Bhoujpur Struggle Committee has clamped an indefinite banda in the district demanding that the 11-state federal model be scrapped immediately. Sankhuwasabha entered the sixth day of banda called by the district denizens against the 11-state federal model. Various organisations in the district have extended their support to the ongoing banda.
Similarly, banda enforced by the Limbuwan group affected life in nine districts to the East of Koshi river.
Demanding an autonomous Karnali state, the five districts in Karnali zone were also shut on Wednesday. The residents of the zone have called for a two-day banda to press their demand for a separate Karnali state with special rights.
Meanwhile, the Tharuhat Struggle Committee decided to extend the banda duration enforced in various Tarai districts till Friday. Demanding for a separate Tharu state, the committee has been enforcing banda in different Tarai districts since May 14.
(With inputs from our district correspondents)
Media persons attacked
Banda enforcers belonging to the Tharuhat Struggle Committee attacked three journalists at Bhairahawa and Murgiya of Rupandehi on Wednesday. The Tharuhat supporters assaulted and verbally abused journalists trio Amrita Anmol, Butwal correspondent of the Post; Swastik Shrestha, cameraperson for Kantipur TV and Prakash Gautam, reporter for Radio Lumbini. The Tharuhat supporters vandalised two motorcycles and a camera used by the journalists. Devi Chaudhary, district coordinator of the committee, claimed the attackers were not Tharuhat members. The banda enforcers also vandalised two buses in the district for defiance.
Rallies for peace, end to banda
Rallies were carried out in districts like Dhankuta, Dhanusha, Baglung and Kailali calling for social harmony, peace and end to banda cultue on Wednesday. Local people, journalists, politicians, businesspersons and professionals from Dhankuta took out a rally at Hile Bazaar calling for social harmony, peace and timely constitution.
Similar rally was taken out in Baglung in the initiation of Baglung Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The participants called for communal and social harmony. In Janakpur of Dhanusha and Lamki of Kailali, business communities took to the streets protesting the banda and calling for social harmony.ekantipur