Nepal's agitating Madhesis on Monday called off their blockade at the Indo-Nepal border after protesting for nearly five months against a new Constitution, reported PTI. In a statement issued after a meeting held to discuss the issue, United Democratic Madhesi Front leaders said, "Considering the current crisis facing the nation and the public necessity and aspirations, the ongoing protest programmes of general strike, border blockade, government office shutdown have been called off for now." However, they said that the agitation will continue till their demands are addressed by the government. The announcement comes ahead of Prime Minister K P Oli's trip to India on February 19.

Last week, trucks and other four-wheeled vehicles crossed the Maitreyi bridge on the Indo-Nepal border for the first time in four months after residents and local businessmen dismantled tents pitched by protesters. The Madhesi community, largely of Indian origin, are opposed to the new Constitution that divides their ancestral homeland under the seven-province structure. The community wants the government to demarcate their province and fix electoral constituencies on the basis of population and proportional representation.