Vehicles passed through the main border point between Nepal and India on Friday after frustrated residents forcefully removed barriers set up by Madhesi protesters who blockaded the border to demand changes in the new Constitution.

The border traffic was the first sign of an easing to the severe shortages of fuel, medicine and other supplies in the Himalayan nation since the blockade and a general strike in the south started late last year.

Police official Hobindra Bogati said residents and businessmen removed tents and bamboo poles that were blocking the border at Birgunj, about 160 km south of Kathmandu, and several cargo trucks and smaller vehicles were able to cross.

It was not, however, the official end of the blockade by the protesters, who could return. The local businesses and traders have been left without business and work for months and have been asking the protesters to end their border seizure.