Nepal’s ruling alliance in a fix after Saptari deaths, Morcha decides to withdraw support

Kathmandu: Disagreement has surfaced in the ruling alliance following the death of four protestors in Saptari’s Rajbiraj on Monday, as the Madeshi Morcha prepares to withdraw support to the government and announce agitation.

Four people were killed when police opened fire on demonstrators in Rajbiraj as locals tried to disrupt the main opposition party UML’s Mech-Mahakali march. Prime Minister Prachanda told his aides that he was surprised that security forces opened fire, despite orders not to do so.

When Prachanda asked Home Minister Nidhi, the Nepali Congress leader is said to have told the Prime Minister he’d ordered police to only fire ‘below the knee’. Maoist party sources say Prachanda is skeptical about the role Nidhi played during the Saptari incident as Nidhi has been saying that the constitution amendment bill must be passed before the country heads to civic elections.

Meanwhile, Madheshi Morcha leaders organised an emergency meeting in the capital to decide ‘in principle’ to withdraw support to the government. Morcha leaders are to meet again in the afternoon before formally withdrawing support to the government by writing to the Parliament secretariat.