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Nepal strike enters second day; six injured in clashes

Gulf Times: At least six people were injured in clashes between an agitating ethnic group and locals who were opposing the three-day strike, called by Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN), which entered the second day yesterday.
The clashes in Imadol area of Lalitpur district near the capital Kathmandu erupted after some agitators vandalised a parked motorcycle inside a compound of a house and police resorted to tear gas shelling, police said.
Normal life continued to be badly hit across the country yesterday during the three-day shutdown called by NEFIN, representing various ethnic groups.
The ethnic groups are agitating for ensuring ethnicity based federal states and more rights and representation for the ethnic minority in the new
People had tough time in Kathmandu valley and other major cities as educational institutions, businesses establishments, transport services and market places have remained completely shut.
Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has ordered security personnel to be more alert and to avert any untoward situation during the general strike.
Talks are on between the government and agitating ethnic groups for finding out peaceful solution to the problem.
Meanwhile, the government and the agitating National Muslim Struggle Alliance, one of the agitating groups, yesterday reached an 11-point deal under which the Muslims will be enlisted in the new constitution to ensure their distinct identity.
The group has dissociated itself from the strike, though other ethnic minorities including Madhesi Front and Tharu Struggle Committee have not yet withdrawn their agitation.
As per the agreement, constitutional Muslim Commission will be formed to address concerns and problems of the Muslim community and the government will form Madrasa Education Board to recognise madrasa education and form permanent Haj Committee immediately to oversee the issues related to the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
Similarly, separate rights of Muslims will be mentioned under the fundamental rights in the new constitution while provincial states in Tarai will be named reflecting Muslim identity.
Likewise, the government has agreed to ensure special rights to Muslims in the new constitution and implement the agreements reached between the government and Muslim community in the past. Agencies

Published Date: Monday, May 21st, 2012 | 12:07 PM

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