Cops baton-charge protesting Maoist victims, 14 hurt

Lalitpur, April 22:

At least 14 Maoist victims were injured and around 100 were rounded up when police swooped on them at the ministers’ quarters where they were protesting today.

The protesters had gheraoed the quarters to press for their 15-point charter of demands.

The arrested were, however, freed later.

Spokesperson of the Association of Victims of Maoist Atrocities, Bhoj Raj Timilsina, said the police intervened in the peaceful gherao programme and beat up the protesters leaving 14 of them injured.

“Around 150 Maoist victims had organised the programme at the ministers’ quarters at Pulchowk from 8 to 10:30 am. Our friends were arrested from there,” he said, adding that the victims also burnt tyres in front of the quarters.

“A meeting of the council of ministers was also cancelled when we stopped police officers from escorting the ministers to Singha Durbar,” he said.

Timilsina said among the injured in the melee were seven children — one as young as four years old — and some women. “The police showered batons on us without taking into consideration the participation of women and children in the programme,” he said.

He also said the injured are not getting treatment. “We are providing first aid to them,” he said.

The Maoist victims have been protesting in the capital demanding investigation into the deaths of their near and dear ones and action against the guilty. They are also demanding that the dead be declared martyrs and their property seized by Maoists returned immediately.

As many as 200 Maoist victims from all the districts except Kathmandu, Manang and Mustang, are putting up at temporary camps at Tinkune in the capital.