Members of Nepal's Madhesi community intensify their protest as they carry burning torches in Birgunj city to oppose the new constitution, which is adopted by the Himalayan nation. Rough Cut - subtitled (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT -- SUBTITLED (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Members of Nepal's Madhesi community intensified their protest on Sunday (January 3) as they carried burning torches in Birgunj city to oppose the new Constitution which was adopted by the Himalayan nation. The nascent republic, wedged between China and India, has been in turmoil since September last year when it adopted a new Constitution. People from ethnic Madhesi groups living along the border with India, began protests saying Nepal's first republican charter did not accommodate their interests. Protestors carried torches and shouted slogans as they said that the government was turning a deaf ear to their demands. The protesters vowed to carry on demonstrations. "We are protesting peacefully and demanding our rights. But the government is fooling us around. Our demand is not new. The government is saying that the new constitution has given the rights to Madhesi community but it is not so. Whatever rights we had even those have been snatched. Now, we don't have any other option..." said a protester. Madhesis have called the seven-province model of the new Constitution discriminatory. The Madhesi community in Nepal's lowlands, many of whom trace their origins to India, are battling upper-caste elites from the hills who control the country's main political parties. About 50 people have died in protests that began in September. Protesters have blockaded trucks from neighboring India for more than two months, leading to acute shortages of fuel and medicine. Nepal blames New Delhi for siding with the protesters, a charge India denies. Several rounds of negotiations between the government and protest leaders have failed amid differences over how to change the internal boundaries of newly created federal states.