Nepal’s agitating Madhesis today vandalised the house of a senior leader of main opposition Nepali Congress and lawmaker, and injured his sister-in-law in Janakpur, the southern historical town that has witnessed a number of violent incidents over the past weeks.
Cadres of agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) attacked the house of Bimalendra Nidhi - a Madhesi himself - and torched a motorcycle parked in the premises, according to party sources.
The motorcycle was reduced to ashes in the arson at Nidhi’s house in Janakpur, over 225 kms from here, as the protesters also pulled down the compound wall and pelted stones at the house besides breaking some half a dozen chairs, the sources said.
Nidhi’s sister-in-law Kiran Nidhi sustained injuries in her hand, arm and back in the attack. The Nepali Congress (NC) leader himself was not present in the house at the time.
Police and neighbours doused the fire, according to in charge of Railway Station Police Post Ayodhi Prasad Yadav.
A local media report said two motorcycles were torched and that the fire destroyed Nidhi’s parking zone roofed with zinc sheets but further damage was prevented as police doused the fire.
In a similar act of violence in Janakpur yesterday, the Madhesi cadres vandalised the house of another senior leader of Nepali Congress, Lila Koirala, triggering a clash with police that injured eight persons.
Police was mobilised from yesterday soon after the cadres began protesting in front of NC leaders’ houses in Janakpur but it was not immediately clear if enough security personnel were deployed outside Nidhi’s house or how strong the group of Madhesis was.
NC is holding its 13th General Convention next month and the party is undertaking local bodies polls to elect representatives for the convention but the Madhesi cadres are opposed to any party activity in southern Nepal by major parties Nepali Congress, UCPN-Maoist and CPN-UML.
Earlier, they have also disrupted activities of other parties in districts of southern Nepal.
Janakpur, home to the famous Ram Janaki temple, has witnessed a number of violent incidents including when the motorcade of Nepal’s first woman President Bidya Devi Bhandari was attacked with stones and a petrol bomb in December.
Madhesis, who are largely of Indian-origin, also resorted to aggressive protests in various persons of Janakpur after a prominent leader sustained injuries in a clash with police.
The UDMF has led violent protests in southern Nepal for the past five months over the seven-province provision in the new Constitution that divides their ancestral homeland and are demanding more representation in Parliament. They have also imposed a blockade of key border trade points with India as part of their protest that has claimed over 50 lives.