KATHMANDU: The talks between the government, agitating indigenous people and Buddhists followers to resolve the row over installing a statue of Lord Buddha at Kakrebihar in Surkhet district ended inconclusively.
The talks failed to make headway after the government side refused to accept the demand of the agitating side—Buddhists and Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities—that they should be allowed to install a statue of Lord Buddha at Karebihar in Lalikoili saying that it would be in breach of the Forest Act.
Likewise, the agitating side turned down the government proposal to seek alternative place for installing the Lord Buddha’s idol citing legal barrier during the talks held under the leadership of Culture Minister Ram Kumar Shrestha. The next round of talks will be held on Sunday.
Before the talks with the government, the agitators picketed entry points of Singhadurbar in the Capital on Tuesday demanding to install Buddha idol near Kakre Bihar in Surkhet. The protestors staged demonstration at Padmodayamod, Hanumanthan and Bhadrakali from 9 to 11 this morning. Transportation went out of gear in the Capital due to the demonstration.
The Buddhist community says it resorted to protest as it was barred from erecting the statue near the Kakre Bihar premises in Latikoili-8 despite permission from the authorities concerned. According to the protestors, stakeholders such as the District Administration Office, the Department of Archaeology, the District Development Committee and the Village Development Committee and the local political parties had given their permission for the idol placement but the Department of Forests kept them for two years saying that the placement required approval from the Cabinet.
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