One killed in clash between police and demonstrators in Surkhet, curfew imposed

Surkhet, Aug 10: A person died and seven others were injured in Surkhet today in a clash between demonstrators and police. The demonstration had been organised by the locals to protest against the division of the mid-western region in the proposed demarcation of federal units.

The deceased has been identified as a local Tikaram Gautam, according to Chief District Officer, Baldev Gautam. Police had to resort to firing after the demonstrators turned violent, resorting to arson and vandalism.

Those injured are locals Ram Bahadur Shrestha, Anish Pant, Chudamani Pokharel, radio journalist Aisingh Rokkamagar, Lal Bahadur Sejuwal and Top Bahadur Thapa and Nar Bahadur Puri of Dailekh, according to police. They are undergoing treatment at Mid-western regional hospital in Kalagaon.

The demonstration that began on Sunday with the demand for an undivided mid-west with Surkhet as its capital took a violent turn today. The demonstrators vandalized party offices of the three major political parties and government offices including the district administration office.

Locals of Surkhet, agitated over the division of the mid-western region in the proposed demarcation of federal units, have vandalized and set ablaze the houses of Nepali Congress Joint General Secretary and former Home Minister Purna Bahadur Khadka and CA member Hridayaram Thani here this afternoon.

The agitation that began on Sunday demanding an undivided Mid-west and Surkhet as the provincial capital took a violent turn today, with the party offices of the three major parties coming under attack. Some government offices including the District Administration Office have also been vandalized.

A clash took place between the agitators and police as the latter tried to stop them from setting the house of CA member Khadka ablaze. Four people sustained bullet injuries during the scuffle. The injured are undergoing treatment at Mid-western Regional Hospital, Kalagaon.

Following the incident, the local administration has imposed a curfew from 1:00 this afternoon to 9:00 pm.

The agitators have meanwhile said that their struggle will continue until the decision of the parties to divide the mid-west into two different provinces is not corrected. They have also demanded that the mid-western region be declared the seventh province, with Surkhet as its capital.

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