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Nepal civil society leaders seek India's democratic influence

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  31 Jan 2016 12:00 AM GMT

NEW DELHI, Jan 30: Warning that there is every possibility of the ongoing agitation in Nepal over the newly adopted constitution spilling over into India, a group of visiting civil society leaders from the Himalayan tion has sought India’s “democratic influence” to resolve the crisis.

“The continuous disturbances in the Terai region has a political and socio-economic impact in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal,” former Nepalese ambassador to Denmark Vijay K. Kar told jourlists here.

“The second impact is that the continuation of the agitation for such a long period may make our young people go for a separatist movement, militancy, which will lead to more killings, disturbances,” he said, adding that he did not want what happened in Sri Lanka to happen in Nepal.

Over 50 people have been killed in the now more than five-month-old anti-constitutiol protest by Madhesis in the southern Nepali Terai.

Most of the 41 transit and customs points along the southern portion of this open border with India have been besieged by the Madhesi protestors who are demanding, among other things, a redrawing of the boundaries of the provinces in Nepal as proposed in the new Constitution — promulgated on September 20 last year — and representation in parliament on the basis of population.

“Long-term disturbances will lead to migration of people to India for security,” Kar said

Stating that they did not want India to get involved as in the case of Sri Lanka, Kar, however, sought India’s democratic influence to end the impasse.

“India has been facilitating our democratic process for a long time. We never considered it as an intervention,” Kar said.

“We are expecting the government of India to use its democratic influence because your border is also being disturbed.”

Unnerved by the prolonged Madhesi agitation, the ruling major-Left coalition as also the main opposition Nepali Congress last week approved two amendments to the four-month-old Constitution partly meeting the demands of the protestors.

However, the Madhesi Morcha spearheading the agitation on Monday rejected the amendments to the statute and announced a fresh agitation programme besides calling for a broader alliance among all forces in the Terai-Madhes region.

“This amendment is a farce,” Kar said.

“This has nothing to do with addressing the issues of representation and inclusion of the margilised communities of Nepal. Actually it has again cheated the people. Without consulting the agitating political forces, they have done it on their own,” he said. (IANS)

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