Constitution Protest Leaves Five Dead in Nepal

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Kathmandu: At least five protesters were killed and several others injured on Tuesday in Nepal during violent agitation against the proposed seven-province model in the Himalayan nation, taking the toll to 20 this week.

Nepal has recently been witnessing violent clashes in Birgunj of Parsa district. Those killed belong to the Madhesi ethnic community, who are culturally close to Indians across the border. Of the five killed, officials said four were shot dead after protesters vandalised police posts and government offices in Birgunj,

After years of wrangling, political parties only agreed on the draft this year after being given fresh impetus from April’s devastating earthquake.

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Its supporters hope the new constitution will boost economic development and cement peace with Maoist rebels who fought a decade-long insurgency.

But there is disagreement over the proposed borders, with minority groups saying they will not be granted sufficient rights.

Hindu groups have also been demonstrating, demanding that Nepal be declared a Hindu state – it became a secular republic after the monarchy was scrapped.