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Govt formally invites UDMF for talks

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KATHMANDU —The government on Sunday made a new call to the unsettling United Democratic Madhesi Morcha (UDMF) to come back to the dialogue table, after almost a break in about three months.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa, who heads the government talks team, wrote a formal letter to the UDMF, inviting its constituents for talks.

The date for a meeting, however, would be decided in consultation with the interlocutors of the participating parties.

Thapa also wrote in the letter that the government had already formed a political mechanism to address the question of provincial boundaries.

Stating that the government was committed to addressing the Madhes demands on the basis of dialogue and consensus, he said the first two amendments to the constitution were also made as per the understanding reached during the talks.

The government and the Madhes-based parties have not held talks since February 18, the day the Thapa-led political mechanism was formed. The committee is yet to take shape after the Madhesi parties and the Nepali Congress, the largest party in Parliament, refused to send their representatives to it.

Thapa additionally urged the Madhesi parties to send their representatives to the panel tasked with working out the details for redrawing the boundaries of the provinces.

The Madhes based parties, however, are in no mood to readily accept the call for dialogue. They charge that the government is not serious about resolving the crisis.

Madhesi leaders said that they were not hopeful about a positive outcome of the talks due to the ‘rigid’ stance taken by the government on crucial issues including the revision to federal boundaries, their main demand.

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Nirmala Panta rape, murder case : Locals protest after wrong suspect paraded

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BHIMDUTTANAGAR — Locals who were protesting against the rape and murder of Nirmala Panta of Kanchanpur’s Bhimdatta Municipality, have enforced shutdown in Bhimduttanagar Bazaar on Tuesday, protesting police’s failure to reveal facts behind the murder of 13-year-old girl and parading wrong suspect on Monday.

The District Police Office, organising a press conference on Monday,had made public Dilip Singh Bista (41), of Baghphanta, Bhimdatta Municipality-19 as Nirmala’s murderer.

Locals have shut down the market area stating that police were not being able to make public the true murderer(s) as they are not convinced by the findings of police citing that Bista was mentally unsound, according to the District Police Office.

Transportation has also been halted.

Bista, a resident of Khanna Chauraha area in Bhimdutta Municipality-19, was apprehended near the scene of crime on Sunday, according to police.

Police making public the wrong suspect has infuriated the locals and fueled the protest.

The agitators including various civil society organisations and human rights defenders have been picketing the District Administration Office and staging rally on the street mounting pressure on the police to reveal the facts behind the heinous crime.

Meanwhile, it had been learnt that police have fired rounds of teargas shells to contain the agitated mob.

Nirmala was found murdered in a sugarcane field on July 27, a day after she had gone to her friend’s home to get a notebook.

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