Nepal police kill one in protests over constitution
Nepalese police have shot and killed one protester during fresh demonstrations against a recently-adopted constitution in the Himalayan country’s restive south.
According to Nepali officials, the victim was killed on Sunday in the town of Gaur in Rautahat district, some 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of the capital, Kathmandu, after police opened fire on about 1,500 protesters who were hurling stones and bottles at the district police office.
“The police fired in self-defense after the protesters became aggressive, and unfortunately one (protester) was killed,” said district chief officer Narahari Baral.
He added that the protest in Gaur had escalated since Saturday and that a curfew had now been imposed in the area.
Nepal has been in chaos since the adoption of a landmark constitution in September. The new document restructures the country as a federal state made up of seven provinces.
The constitution has drawn angry reactions from residents of southern Nepal, who argue that the new internal borders will discriminate against historically-marginalized communities. Clashes between protesters and police, in its fourth month now, have left nearly 50 people dead.
Members of marginalized groups demand their own independent province. The groups include the Madhesi and Tharu ethnic minorities, who mainly inhabit the country’s southern plains.
Negotiations between the protesting groups and the government have failed to yield any results, but both sides have vowed to continue the talks.