Anti-charter protesters burn medicine truck in Nepal, official says


Protesters in the southern plains of Nepal torched a vehicle carrying medicines on Friday, a local official said, as demonstrators continued their fight against the country’s new constitution.

Medicines worth 200,000 rupees (1,900 dollars) were destroyed when protesters in the southern Madhesh region attacked the vehicle, an official from Birganj district said.

On Thursday, Madeshi groups told government representatives that they would step up their protests but would not impede the supply of emergency items such as medicines.

Imports from India to Nepal, notably petrol, have been blocked for the last three months, with the border effectively closed due to what India has called security concerns. Almost 50 people have been killed in violence during the protests.

Petrol shortages have led to rationing and long queues at petrol stations, while hospitals have been running low on medicines.

Nepali officials were due in China on Saturday to finalize the purchase of petrol from Nepal’s giant neighbour, while Kathmandu said it would ask Bangladesh to help with medical supplies.

Talks between the Madhesh-based parties and the government on amending the constitution to give southern areas greater autonomy have failed to reach agreement.