Golbazaar (Siraha), Jan 19: It appears the leaders from the Madhes have neglected the Eighth Madhesi Martyrdom Day, rendering it insipid.
Most of the Madhes-centric parties except the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum Nepal did not mark the Day this time.
The Forum Nepal chairman Upendra Yadav and other leaders of the party garlanded a statute of Ramesh Mahato at Lahan today in commemoration of this historical Day. Mahato is the first martyr of the Madhes Movement that was waged across the southern plains of the country in January 2007 by the Madhesi people demanding their rights and identity.
This movement also was successful in forcing the establishment to make an amendment to the Interim Constitution of Nepal enshrining federalism in it.
The Forum Nepal also organised a procession on the highway at Lahan under the party chairman Yadav’s leadership, after the garlanding. However, the procession also saw less participation of people compared to the previous years, a participant observed. There were hardly 100 leaders and cadres in the procession.
Mahato got killed in a clash with Maoist cadres in a shooting incident on January 19, 2007 when the Madhesi activists were blocking the highway in Lahan in support of Upendra Yadav when he burnt a copy of the Interim Constitution in the capital Kathmandu.
The Interim Constitution of Nepal was issued on January 15, 2007. Yadav burnt a copy of the constitution in protest saying it failed to incorporate the main demands of the Madhesi people as federalism and proportional representation.
This incident spurred an uprising across the Madhes region in which a total of 38 people got killed and 58 got injured.
Injured of the Madhes movement living helpless
Although it has been eight years that the Madhes-based political parties and leaders have started to celebrate the Madhes Martyrdom Day on Magh 5 at Martyr Ramesh Chowk at Lahan, people, who were injured in Madhes movement, complain that the day makes them gloomy.
Kishan Sah, 33, of Govindapur VDC in Siraha, who was injured during Madhes movement, said, “Those, who lost their lives in the movement, become martyrs. The concerned families got relief amount. But those, who become handicapped after being injured in the movement have been left high and dry. They could not get any relief amount except treatment expenses.”
He complained that he had to cut-off his leg as he received bullet fired by police in the movement and he has been facing problem for the survival of his family members.
Sah said, “Now, the activities and behaviour of Madhesi leaders hurt me.”
Sah, who was a rickshaw driver in a profession before losing his leg, but now he has been compelled to eking out by collecting construction materials at a local Khatti rivulet with the support of his artificial leg.
He complained that not only he did not get anything except treatment expenses, he was also neglected by the Madhesi leaders after being handicapped.
Sah said, “Let’s the slogan” Autonomous Madhes, Rightful Madhes” be the ladder for the Madhesi leaders to get power.”
Kishun Dev said expressing his pain, “Most of Madhes leaders got many opportunities in the name of martyrs and those injured in the name of Madhes movement. But we, who were injured in the movement, could not get anything.”
Five people lost their lives and more than three dozens of people were injured at different parts of Siraha during the Madhes movement.
The injured complained that though agreement was signed with government for the arrangement of providing relief amount, treatment to the injured and handicapped people, they could not get anything except treatment expenses so far.