Kathmandu, February 24
Warring factions of Nepal Student Union, a student wing of the Nepali Congress, clashed at the party headquarters today, prompting the police to charge batons and leaving around 16 individuals injured.
Two groups of students — one close to the NC establishment faction led by President Sher Bahadur Deuba and the other close to Krishna Prasad Sitaula — had reached the party headquarters to pressure the leadership not to delay formation an ad hoc committee of the NSU after the dissolution of its central committee.
The clash erupted after student leaders led by Kundan Kafle (close to Sitaula camp) tore banners displayed by students led by Rishikesh Jung Shah (close to Deuba camp), who were organising a silent demonstration, according to Shah. He said it was an unfortunate incident, especially at a time when communists had consolidated and that such anarchic activities should be curbed.
Initially, the students hurled water bottles at each other, but soon the situation turned violent as students started exchanging bricks and stones. Police then had to charge batons. At least 16 individuals sustained injuries in the incident, including around four journalists, who had reached the site for news coverage.
However, student leaders close to Sitaula camp said it was a planned attack by the establishment faction to demoralise them. Dilli Subedi, vice-president of the now-dissolved NSU central committee, said they were holding peaceful demonstrations at the western gate of the headquarters, but the other group attacked them with stones all of a sudden.
Student leaders close to Paudel camp, however, were not present at the NC headquarters during the clash.
The NSU central committee led by Nain Singh Mahar (close to Deuba camp) was dissolved recently following its failure to hold general convention even within its extended tenure. NSU has been without a leader following Mahar’s resignation.
Although the party has decided to form an ad hoc committee to hold 16he NSU general convention, it has not been able to finalise under whose leadership the committee will be formed, thanks to rampant factionalism in the party.