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Court facilitates citizens to vote from foreign land

Pratigya Waiju

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KATHMANDU—Supreme Court has issued a mandamus order to the government to ensure the voting rights of all the Nepali living abroad.

The implementation of the decision will enable more than four million Nepalis living in different parts of the world for employment, study and diplomatic assignments to exercise their rights.

However, the decision will not apply to Non-Resident Nepalis.

According to the statistics, more than four million Nepalis are living and working in different parts of the globe. Majority of them are concentrated in the Gulf countries, sending some billons of rupees in remittance.

However, the election regulations require citizens to cast their vote from their official place of residence, disenfranchising migrant workers.

“Make all necessary arrangements for ensuring the voting rights of all Nepalis living abroad,” reads the SC verdict. Nepalis who have not abandoned their citizenship, not received the citizenship of any other country, hold the voter identity card issued by the Election Commission, and have his/her name on the lists updated by a diplomatic mission should be allowed external voting, the SC ruled.

The court directed the government to acknowedge the contribution of the citizens working abroad to Nepal’s econonomy by making it possible for them to vote.

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Massive fire guts property worth millions in Itahari

RSS

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ITAHARI- Goods, raw materials and equipments worth over Rs 20 million were gutted when a fire broke out at the Laxmi Foam Industry at Khanar of Itahari Sub-metropolitan City-10 in Sunsari district this morning.

It is said the fire suddenly broke out from the warehouse area of the industry where the ready-made goods are stored. Police have speculated that the fire started at 4 am when the industry had already closed and there were no workers inside.

The industry is owned by Bhanu Tibadewala. According the Shankar Thakur, the manager at the industry, the raw materials of doormat and important machinery at the industry have also been damaged in the inferno.

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Nepal Army, the Armed Police Force and the Nepal Police personnel as well as the Itahari fire brigade made attempts to douse the fire after some time it started.

Fire trucks from Dharan, Inaruwa, Biratnagar, Duhabi and Sundarharaincha were immediately called into service thereby bringing the huge inferno under control and preventing further damage, said Shiva Kumar Shrestha, Deputy Superintendent of Police at the Area Police Office Itahari.

He said the cause of the fire is not yet ascertained and the extent of damage is being assessed.

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