Violent Riots in Nepal Causing Three Deaths
By W.C.

February 4, 2007
I have never been involved in a protest in my life. I have read and heard plenty of stories of how protests had broken out into violent riots, and how unpleasant the experience of being involved in one is like. It is horrible to see what happens during protests sometimes. People do not think rationally, causing violent acts of rebelling against the government, and the police do not handle the protestors well, causing them to shoot guns illogically at protestors. There is always a dilemma between who causes the riot first; the demonstrators or the police. In the eastern district of Sarlahi, it was the case of Police opening fire on the demonstrators first causing the death of three people.

Recently in the southern district of Birgunj in Nepal, 25 people were injured due to the cause of police firing on a group of Madheshi demonstrators. This is not something new because Nepal has been facing violent protests for weeks, causing the death of 17 people. These protests are taking place for the reason being that the Madheshi community donít feel recognized and feel that they are treated unequally, and they deserve more political independence through more seats in parliament. These protests are also argued upon how the protestors attempted to snatch weapons from the police and how they disagreed that they did. It is basically a never ending battle of violent riots where no one wins causing injuries and deaths. This seems to be quite a complicated issue because the riots wonít come to a rest unless the Madheshi are granted the political independence, and for them to receive it, is a complex issue.

Many different views of the protest are given, such as the authorities explaining how the police opened fire on the demonstrators first, and how the protestors also fired back at them with home-made guns. Another account says the demonstrators led a peaceful protest. It becomes confusing and frustrating on how to solve a problem like this.
The demonstrators set themselves up as Madheshi Janadhikar Forum (Madheshi People's Rights Forum). The Madheshi are constantly discarded of their federal proposals for Nepal leaving them frustrated and irritated because of their concerns not being addressed. The Madheshi people call Terai, a southern part of Nepal, home. As well, the Madheshi consist of Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists. Although they make up 33-45% of the 27 million population of Nepal, they are still not properly represented as a government, causing them to protest to win their independence.

It is important to know how the protests affect demonstrators and the police and how they are constantly put into a dilemma on who started the violent riots. In this case it was the police who ended up killing three of the protestors. These protests are complex issues and arenít easily solved, but knowing how they work and why they are occurring are significant pieces of information. Bringing more people into an issue like this and hearing their views on how it should be resolved is key. Bringing awareness is the first step to putting a problem to an end.


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