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Protesters killed by police in Nepal in ongoing violence over constitution

Violence over the weekend in Nepal saw the fatal shooting of at least three protestors by police, with many more injured. The protestors belonged to the Madhesi group which is protesting the recently passed constitution.

While reports are unclear about who used force first, Saturday saw open violence between police and protestors during a blockade of a highway in the Saptari District, the latest in a series of ongoing clashes. The first incidents of violence in Nepal began in August with finalization of the recently passed Constitution. Over 40 people have been killed since then.

The Madhesi group, who have close geographical and historical ties in India, oppose the new constitution on the basis that it diminishes their political voice. They have been blockading the Nepal-Indian border since September, with significant effects on Nepal’s economy.

In a statement last Friday, UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon expressed “his growing concern over the blockade of essential supplies on the Nepal-India border.” On Sunday, spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, Vikas Swarup said on Twitter that India was “distressed at [the] loss of lives in police firing in Saptari” and that “political solution [was] required.”

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