PALPA, Feb 14: Normal life continued to be affected for the second consecutive day on Thursday due to an indefinite strike called by the locals in Gulmi district.
As the locals burnt tires and shouted slogans in front of the District Administration Office (DAO) of Gulmi, all factories, shops and educational institutes remained closed in Tamghas, the district headquarters.
Normal life was thrown out of gear as vehicles were also prohibited from entering into and returning from Tamghas all throughout the day on Thursday. The locals had called the strike on Wednesday after police used force to disperse protestors who took to streets demanding an end to 18-hour power outage.
On Wednesday, the locals had vandalized buildings of the Gulmi DAO and Nepal Electricity Office (NEA), Tamghas, accusing the police of cracking down on what they dubbed as peaceful protests.
Six people, including some policemen, had been injured in sporadic clashes that occurred throughout the day. On Thursday, the locals, backed by several opposition political parties, also vowed to intensify their protest programs unless their demands are met. They also decided to form a coordination committee to intensify protests.
Although the local administration initiated some efforts to resolve the problem by holding talks with the protestors, the locals refused to call off the strike, saying that they would hold talks only with representatives of the regional office of the NEA.
In response to preconditions set by the locals, the NEA has sent a team led by Yubaraj Acharya, acting regional chief of the NEA, Butwal, to hold talks with the protestors. “An all-party meeting will be held on Friday to resolve the problem,” said DSP Guru Bishnu Kafle.
The locals of Gulmi say that they had to take to the streets as they were forced to live in darkness though their district is one of the areas considered to be affected by Kali Gandaki-A Hydro Power Project.
Earlier, Gulmi was declared load-shedding free district. But, the locals say the NEA increased load-shedding period to 18 hours a day, forcing them to launch protests.