DHANGADI/JHAPA, May 20: People from various communities have joined hands for social harmony in the aftermath of recent clashes between those advocating for an undivided far-west and Tharuhat state in Kailali and Kanchanpur districts.
Tharus and the people of hill origin of Dhangadi-5 on Sunday organized a program, with significant participation of women, urging all communities to exercise restraint.
"We have come together to stop suicidal communal clashes," said Chairman of the recently formed Committee for Social Harmony Madan Raj Pandey. "The ethnic conflict will never end once it starts and communities will be the ones to lose eventually," Pandey added.
Vice-chairman of the committee Binaya Chaudhary, on the other hand, said that a few persons are setting Tharus and people of hill origin, who have always lived in harmony, against each other for their vested interests. "Tharus and people of hill origin have always lived harmoniously and have jointly participated in marriages and funeral processions of each other. Why are we raising this ethnic issue now?" Chaudhary asked.
Meanwhile, the local peace committee, in coordination with over a dozen organizations, took out a massive rally for communal harmony in Birtamode, Jhapa on Sunday.
Addressing a corner meeting after the rally, coordinator of the peace committee and Maoist In-charge of Jhapa Jhalak Singh Darlami urged the banda enforcers to call off the strikes and asked the ethnic communities to be mindful of the rights of others while staging protests for rights. Chief of Nepali Congress in Jhapa Uddhav Thapa and CPN-UML district chief Robin Koirala also urged all the ethnic communities to maintain communal harmony.
Meanwhile, the protestors accusing the organizers of making students participate in the peace rally have warned of shutting down schools from Monday.
"We had agreed to let educational institutions operate but the political parties shut the schools and took the students to the rally," said Mechinagar Chairman of the agitating committee Kewal Ram Rai.