16 students hurt in clashes with cops, 6 held

Kathmandu, August 27:

Sixteen students were injured in clashes with riot police during torch rallies organised by the student unions in Kathmandu, Nepalgunj and Bara today. Police also rounded up six student leaders from the rallies. The demonstrations were part of the students’ ongoing protest programme against the hike in prices of petroleum products. Fourteen students were injured when riot police rained batons on them during torch rallies in various parts of the valley in the evening. Six students were injured in a scuffle with the police when the former took out a torch rally from Dillibazar to Putalisadak and from the All Nepal National Free Students Union (ANNFSU) central office, Baghbazar, to the Old Bus Park. Police arrested three students, including Mahesh Shrestha of the ANNFSU, from a rally organised by the eight student unions and that originated from the Old Bus Park.

Another eight students, including Bharat Shahi, central member of the Nepal Students Union, were injured when they clashed with the police in a rally that began from Kumari Hall and ended at Putalisadak. According to Ram Kumari Jhakri, chief of the publicity department at the ANNFSU, the students would go on with the protest programmes unless the government withdrew the price hike. The student unions demanded the immediate release of all the arrested students. They further said they would take out a ‘mask rally’ from Ascol Campus to Ason tomorrow afternoon as a mark of protest against the hike. Students also clashed with the police during a torch rally in Nepalgunj. Three student leaders — District secretary of the ANNFSU, Khagendra Khanal, central member of the ANNFSU (United) Krishna Pande and NSU president of Kalikot, Katak Shahi — were rounded up there. In Bara district, two students were injured when they clashed with the police during a torch rally at the district headquarters in Kalaiya.