Kathmandu, August 15
Most of the academic institutions across the nation remained close today due to the strike imposed by the Netra Bikram Chand-led CPN-Maoist’s sister wing All Nepal National Independent Students’ Union-Revolutionary (ANNISU-R).
According to Dipendra Chalaune, general secretary, ANNISU-R, the protest programme was organised to exert pressure on the government to fulfil their 17-point demand.
Earlier, a government talks team led by joint-secretary from the Ministry of Education Hari Lamsal had held talks on August 10 with the cadres but the meeting ended inconclusively.
“The government had called us for talks earlier, but they did not show interest in fulfilling those demands,” said Chalaune, adding “We have protested against high fees charged by private institutions and demanded discount for students in health service, transportation and entertainment.”
Meanwhile, the cadres also vandalised three colleges of Kathmandu Valley for running classes during the strike.
The striking ANNISU-R cadres vandalised Swoyambhu-based Kathmandu Model Hospital School of Nursing, Banasthali-based School of Medical Sciences and Jorpati-based Shankarapur Academy for operating classes and the administration department there during the strike.
“The cadres had resorted to vandalism after the college did not abide by their request to shut down academic activities,” he added.
Furniture, computers and windows of the colleges were completely damaged in the vandalism. “If the government fails to address our demands, we will shut the District Education Offices from day after tomorrow.
From Wednesday, we have decided not to shut educational institutions as that will hamper student’s education,” Chalaune further added. The protest will continue till tomorrow evening.
Meanwhile, Private and Boarding Schools Organisation Nepal (PABSON) today condemned the forced closure of schools. Issuing a statement, it said that ANNISU-R cadres had violated the students’ right to get education in a peaceful environment.
“Such kind of protest imposed to exert pressure on the concerned to meet their demands is not only going to affect students’ academic activities, but the future of the country will also be uncertain,” read the statement.
A version of this article appears in print on August 18, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.