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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 January 2007, 07:20 GMT
Nepal orders probe into violence
By Sushil Sharma
BBC News, Kathmandu

A Maoist rebel
Eyewitnesses said the activist was shot by Maoists
The Nepalese government has ordered a judicial investigation into recent violence in a town in the south.

The move follows a rise in violence in Lahan that has left four people dead and dozens injured since Friday.

A senior judge, Janardhan Bahadur Khadka, will lead the three-member panel, which has been told to submit its report in 15 days.

The unrest saw protesters pitted against both police officers and Maoist party activists.

We want a federal structure of government and regional autonomy for Terai
MJF president Upendra Yadav

Violence escalated in Lahan after Maoist rebels allegedly shot dead an activist of a regional group, the Madheshi Janadhikar Forum (MJF), on Friday.

The MJF was protesting against the recently promulgated interim constitution which it said failed to address the grievances of the people of the southern plains popularly known as the Terai, and has accused the government of discrimination.

A number of government offices and the Maoist office were vandalised during the protest against the killing. This prompted the authorities to put a curfew on the town.

Three people died on Monday when police opened fire to disperse angry demonstrators whom the police said were trying to storm a local police station.

A curfew was re-imposed in the area on Tuesday.

The government has offered $14,000 in compensation to the family of the dead.

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