DHANGADI, May 9: Alhough the government on Monday announced a talks team headed by Deputy Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula for holding talks with the organizers of the ongoing shutdown in farwestern region, talks have not started by Tuesday evening as the strike organizers have yet to form their talks committee.
The strike organizers want an undivided farwestern region comprising the nine districts.
However, Hari Regmi, media coordinator of the strike organizing committee, assured that the process of forming a talks committee is under way. He said the committee will have representation of agitators from all districts of the farwestern region. The chief district officer (CDO) of Kailali, Kailash Kumar Bajimaya, said the time and place for the talks will be decided once the talks team is formed.
Meanwhile, Tharu groups, who have been enforcing a parallel strike in some districts in the region demanding a Tharuhat province have said they are disappointed with the government decision to hold talks with those demanding undivided farwestern region. The groups said the government has not heeded their demand for a separate Tharuhat province comprising Kanchanpur and Kailali districts.
The indefinite strike was on 12th day Tuesday. All nine districts of the farwestern region have been badly affected by the strike. There are reports of acute shortage of essentials and medicines.
Indefinite strike cripples life in Dadeldhura (BARUN PANERU)
DADELDHURA: Binod Bohora had come to Dadeldhura on Monday for the treatment of his illness but he could not. He also did not find the ambulance to go to neighboring city in India. Bohora said, "Most of the ambulances in the area had gone out of the district while the remaining few were out of fuel."
The strike has caused acute fuel shortage in Dadeldhura, Doti, and Baitadi district affecting even the ambulance service. Of the five ambulances in Dadeldhura, three are out of fuel. Senior public health officer of Dadeldhura District Health Office said the remaining two ambulances could be out of service any time due to the fuel shortage.
Even police patrols have been affected by fuel shortage. Even the vans used for patrolling will stop from Wednesday in the lack of fuel, said police officer Binod Ghimire.
Adding to the plight of the people in the region, there has been shortage of medicines, oxygen and saline at hospitals.
Also, mobile telephone users in the region are facing shortage of recharge cards. Mostly the villagers, who were entirely dependent on mobile phones for communication outside the district, have not been able to make calls. The landline phones in the region are limited to the district headquarters.
"Make Dadhedhulra, the capital of far-west"
An indefinite strike has been announced in Dadeldhura demanding that the district headquarters of Baghkhor be made the provincial capital of the "undivided farwestern province".
On Tuesday, local leaders of the political parties, civil society members, and other organizations were seen ordering shops, offices and schools to shut down. Before this, only the markets and transport services would remain closed. The strike enforcers have been stopping even ambulances.
If the demand for provincial capital is not fulfilled, we will further toughen stance, said Upendra Joshi, Dadheldhura district secretary of the struggle committee for the "undivided farwestern province".