Madhes region students seek early resolution of Nepal constitutional crisis

Nepal: Dec 19; Students here have sought an early resolution to the ongoing constitution-related crisis in Nepal in the wake of schools and colleges remaining closed for the third straight month.

Shouting slogans against the government, members of ethnic Madhesi community demanded fulfillment of their demands.

Nepal, which is wedged between China and India, has been in turmoil since September when it adopted a new Constitution. People from Madhesi groups living along the border with India, began their protests on grounds that Nepal's first republican charter has not accommodated their interests.

With just a few months to go for their final exams, the students have urged the government and the agitators to hold negotiations and resolve the crisis.

"The government is not showing any concern and because of this situation, schools and colleges are closed. Our future is in the dark. The government has become so useless that neither are they doing anything, nor are the agitators. All are adamant and obstinate in their attitude," said a school student, Navneet Jha.

Madhesis have been protesting against the seven-province model of the new constitution and are demanding redrawing of boundary.

Protesters have blocked trucks from India for more than three months, leading to acute shortages of fuel and medicine in the country. The Madhesis have declared that they will not end their protest till their demands are met.

"Life has become chaotic because school, colleges and business are closed. So, the government and the agitators should talk and solve the crisis," said a college student, Ram Yadav.

Madhesis have called the seven-province model of the new Constitution discriminatory.

About 50 people have died since the protests began in September.

Several rounds of negotiations between the government and protest leaders have failed amid differences over how to change the internal boundaries of newly created federal states.

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