Tags: Nepal | politics | demonstration

Nepal Police Fire Teargas at Charter Protesters

Saturday, 28 Feb 2015 07:34 AM

Nepalese police Saturday fired teargas and water cannon at thousands of opposition supporters who converged on the capital to protest controversial plans to vote on a disputed new national constitution.

As anger mounts over the planned vote, protesters threw bricks and stones in brief clashes with security forces who responded with about 20 rounds of teargas, police and an AFP reporter on the scene said.

"We estimate that around 35,000 people are participating in today's rally," Kathmandu police spokesman Dinesh Acharya told AFP, while another officer said 4,000 police were lining the route through Kathmandu.

Years of squabbling have seen Nepal's politicians miss a series of deadlines to draft the charter which was designed to draw a line under a decade of civil war.

The government's push last month to hold a vote, rather than seek agreement on disputed terms of the constitution, sparked protests including inside parliament itself, deepening discord between ruling parties and the opposition led by former Maoist rebels.

On Saturday, flag-waving demonstrators, riding motorcycles and travelling on foot, packed Kathmandu's narrow streets and shouted slogans calling for a constitution based on consensus.

An AFP reporter said the situation briefly turned violent when protesters tried to enter a restricted area near parliament and police moved in to disperse them.

Gopal KC, a doctor at Kathmandu's Civil Service Hospital, said "24 people have been admitted here, all with minor injuries." Acharya told AFP that four officers were also wounded after protestors threw stones at them.

Man Bahadur Khadka, a 52-year-old farmer from eastern Nepal, took an overnight bus to the capital to join the protest and pressure lawmakers to draft a charter that is "friendly to the poor".

"I don't think the ruling parties should push through a constitution based on a majority vote," Khadka told AFP.

"They should realise that many sons of poor farmers lost their lives fighting for a better future for people like us," he said.

A key sticking point concerns internal borders, with the opposition pushing for provinces to be created along lines that could favor historically marginalized communities, handing them a majority and therefore more influence in those areas.

Other parties have attacked this model, calling it too divisive and a threat to national unity.

No date has been set for the vote on the charter, which was intended to conclude a peace process begun in 2006 when Maoist guerrillas entered politics, ending an insurgency that left an estimated 16,000 people dead.

But six prime ministers and two elections later, political infighting has confounded efforts to hammer out a deal, throwing parliament into disarray and crippling the economy of the impoverished Himalayan nation.


 

© AFP 2017

 
1Like our page
2Share
Asia
Nepalese police Saturday fired teargas and water cannon at thousands of opposition supporters who converged on the capital to protest controversial plans to vote on a disputed new national constitution.
Nepal, politics, demonstration
441
2015-34-28
Saturday, 28 Feb 2015 07:34 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved