Nepalese people queue for petrol at a gas station run by the Nepalese army as fuel rations are implemented in Kathmandu.
China is to provide 1mn litres of petrol to Nepal for free, to ease the ongoing fuel crisis, the Commerce Ministry in Kathmandu said yesterday.
The fuel was to be brought into Nepal starting Tuesday through the Sigastse-Kerung transit.
Nepal’s new government has mobilised various agencies to bring fuel and cooking gas from China in the wake of shortage of essential goods during festivals due to the Madhesi-led agitation in the southern plains.
The ministry said a team of government officials would go to China today to discuss the possibility of purchasing oil from China.
“The government of China had in the recent past expressed commitment to provide fuel to Nepal on grant basis and the same is being materialised now as Nepal is facing shortage of fuel due to blockade on the Indian border,” Pramod Dahal, Prime Minister’s press adviser, said.
Nepal is connected to China via land through the Kerung and Tatopani transits. The roads leading to these crossings were damaged in earthquakes and monsoon rains and were repaired less than two weeks ago.
Nepal buys its fuel from India, but supply has been disrupted for a month as New Delhi refused to let fuel tankers cross the
border, citing security reasons.
Nepal’s southern belt, which shares a border with India, has been facing protests for the last 71 days with the Madhesi bloc protesting the federal demarcation in the new constitution. The group that shares close ties with India in terms of culture and language has been demanding an autonomous state.
The violent strikes that led to the fuel crisis have left Nepal choked as it depends heavily on India for its daily essential
Meanwhile, around half a dozen protesters were injured when cadres of agitating Joint Democratic Madhesi Front (JDMF) clashed with the police at Dhalkebar in Dhanusa district near Nepal-India border
The clash erupted after the agitating Madhesi cadres pelted stones at passenger buses being escorted by security forces,
according to the police.
Police shot around 20 rounds of bullets in the air to control the situation.
While window panes of two passenger vehicles were smashed, the agitators also threw petrol bombs at some running vehicles, that were
under the escort.
The some of the cadres also reported to have received shots from rubber bullets during the clashes.
A driver of the passenger bus is said to have sustained serious injuries as he was hit at his head by the protesters.
In a separate incident, the police resorted to baton charging and firing tear gas cells at the protesters, who were pelting stones on vehicles ferrying passengers and goods at Bhardaha area in Saptari district in
At least six agitators and two policemen were also injured in the incident.
More than 40 people have died in the agitations launched by the Madhesis — the Indian-origin inhabitants of Nepals Terai region bordering India — and Tharu ethnic groups in southern plains, hitting hard normal life.
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