The Banke District Administration has imposed an indefinite curfew over potential disruptions to communal harmony as two religious groups in the region protest against each other. Chief District Officer Bipin Acharya issued the curfew order, which came into effect at 1 pm on Monday.
On Sunday, 1st October, 2023, the Muslim community had protested against a social media post which specifically targeted their community. While the post may have triggered the protest, the protest was in response to growing online hatred against the community in Nepalgunj. On Tuesday, 3rd October a Hindu affiliated group objected to the Sunday’s protests, and gathered in retaliation to Sunday’s protest – which became a cause of tension in the community.
According to the District Administration Office Banke, the curfew order was prompted by concerns over potential disruptions. The curfew applies within specific boundaries: from the Rapti Nadi bridge in the east of Nepalgunj town area, to the road leading to Indrapur on the Khajura road in the west, from Ranjha Chowk in the north, to the Jamunaha Naka border area in the south.
During this indefinite curfew period, gatherings, processions, and rallies are strictly prohibited. Violators of the curfew order will face penalties in accordance with section 6 (a)(1)(3) of the Local Government Act, 2028.