By Krandan Chapagain, Kathmandu
A Nepalese politician belonging to a Terai-based party has revealed that Madhesi leaders have collectively urged India not to lift the current blockade on Nepal.
The request is likely to be looked at as absurd or even cruel given the fact that millions of Nepalese citizens including children and elderly population, irrespective of geographic locations and ethnic backgrounds, remain severely impacted by the effects of the blockade India informally put in place nearly three months ago.
“Our movement will not exist if the blockade is lifted. That’s why we requested the Indian ambassador not to lift the blockade,” said the vice-chairman of Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party Ram Naresh Ray.
India denies the existence of any formal or informal blockade from its side. The South Asian giant claims the disruption of transit is the result of the ongoing Madhesi movement along various trade points between Nepal and India.
Ray and his colleagues famously dumped the leaders of three main three political parties (Nepali Congress, CPN – UML and UCPN-Maoist) yesterday for a meeting with Indian ambassador Ranjit Rae. Reports suggested that the leaders remained waiting while the Madhesi leaders were in meeting at the sprawling premises of the Indian embassy in Lazimpat, Kathmandu.
It is understood that India has asked the Madhesi parties to remain ready for the lifting of the blockade based on a reported agreement with the Nepalese government according to which the re-demarcation of the disputed provinces will be carried out within three months.
“We could not agree on that and that is why our leaders are going to New Delhi,” the Madhesi leaders said in an early morning interview on Saturday.
“Look, where would we go if the blockade is lifted? If we try to stage protests on the highways, it is disrupted (by the government), shots are fired upon us. We are attacked in the name Chure Bhawar. Then where will we protest if the blockade is lifted?,” questions Ray.
Speaking to nepaldesh.com, Ray further added that he and his colleagues will not accept the lifting of the blockade because they are not confident that their demands will be met within the promised timeframe.
This report has been edited to reflect the correct name, ‘Ram Naresh Ray’, instead of ‘Ram Naresh Yadav’. – editor, southasia.com.au – 6dec15 1.17pm