UML demands govt security for party rallies

March 9, 2017 00:40 AM Republica

Warns of grave consequences if the party has to resort to self-defense
KATHMANDU, March 9: Main opposition CPN-UML has demanded that government ensure full security to the party's rallies to be resumed from Friday.

The UML had halted its Mechi-Mahakali campaign after three of the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) cadres who tried to obstruct a UML assembly in Saptari district were killed in clashes with the police on Monday. 

Briefing Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi about the security threat from the agitating Madhes-based political parties to holding party rallies, UML top leaders urged the government on Wednesday to perform its duty of maintaining peace and security in the country without any compromise. 

“We have demanded that the government ensure full security to peaceful party rallies. If the government fails to perform its duty and we have to defend ourselves, the situation might become complex,” UML senior leader Jhalnath Khanal told Republica.

At a three-party meeting held at the prime minister's official residence in Baluwatar, UML Chairman KP Oli, senior leaders Khanal, Madhav Nepal, Vice Chairman Bamdev Gautam, among other leaders, had warned the government of grave consequences if the party had to resort to self-defense.

Citing the ongoing protests in the Tarai-Madhes, PM Dahal and leaders of the ruling Nepali Congress (NC) urged the UML to put off its rallies for few more days. However, the UML leaders turned down the request from the ruling parties, and said that the party will go ahead with its campaign. “We have already put off our rallies for three days following the tragic incident in Saptari district. As holding peaceful rallies is a constitutional right and as the campaign was scheduled long ago, our party is not ready to postpone the rally any further,” said Khanal. 

The CPN-UML has decided to resume its stalled party campaign from Friday from Hetdauda.

Though the rally was scheduled to resume from Bara district, the UML decided to resume the campaign from Hetauda following the announcement of general strike across Madhes on Friday by the agitating Madhes-based parties. 

In the meeting, UML leaders also accused the Madhes-based political parties of criminalizing politics, said Khanal. He said that the cadres of the agitating UDMF resorted to attacking UML leaders and cadres in Saptari district with various home-made weapons and petrol bombs. 

Praising the restraint maintained by the police in Saptari district, the UML leaders expressed their dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Dahal and Home Minister Nidhi over the government's decision to recall the chief district officer and security chiefs of the district, said Khanal. “The police foiled the plan of the protesters to kill UML top leadership by risking their lives,” said Khanal.

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