Indefinite strike in Surkhet
Nepal is in the process of finalizing its constitution which began 7 years ago. In this connection there were various opinions regarding the formation of new provinces within the country including the existing five regions. In order to accomplish the establishment of 6 new provinces the constitution draft committee decided to divide the existing regions and allocate different districts to different provinces. When this is accomplished, Surkhet would have to join with far western Nepal and the capital of the existing mid western region as well as district headquarter would be moved from Surkhet to elsewhere. Realizing the inconvenience of the people in mid western region, people have come up with their demand for an undivided Midwestern region and Surkhet as the capital of the new province. The indefinite strike that started on 9th August has continued on the 6th day. The strike has turned violent resulting in curfew, police firing, deaths and it has further agitated the people. So far 3 people have died, 16 injured are admitted in different hospitals and nursing homes. Families have not claimed the dead bodies due to the lack of compensation and some assurance for their demands. Thousands of people continue to march on the streets. All businesses, transportation have come to a standstill in Surkhet and neighboring districts. Some are demanding for Nepal as Hindu state. In the midst of it all SCNs in Surkhet managed to reach the visiting provincial, Sister Basanti Lakra to Kohalpur travelling by their mobile vehicle at night. Sisters and the parish priest in Kohalpur helped her to reach the airport in time for her flight to Kathmandu so that she would not miss her further flight connections to Patna. SCNs still continue to take risks bravely following the footsteps of their foundress and experiencing the providence of God in their lives.
Rosita Kavilpurayidathil, SCN