Renu Kshetry

Kathmandu, June 12:

A crowd of students today smashed windscreens of three vehicles of the Gorkhapatra Corporation, including that of its general manager. GC is a state-owned publication which has a monopoly over publishing SLC results. The Rising Nepal, the English daily of the organisation, was not published till 8.30 pm today due to the delay in publishing the SLC results. The publication failed to distribute the newspaper to the demanding crowd, and the crowd vented its fury by smashing the vehicles.

There was a queue of around 200 people stretching to Purano Bhansar from the corporation gate, but those who stood in line were not sure when their turn would come. Quite a few tried to climb the wall; some tried to snatch the paper when they found somebody walking with it. "It was difficult to get the paper. Saving it from snatchers along the road was more difficult," said Dharma Maharjan of Bhote Bahal, who was running away with the paper hidden in his shirt. As the corporation could not serve the mass, some staffers hurled bunches of papers from the windows behind the Pipal Bot at 8.00 am.

It did not help the students; it only caused heavy fighting among the youths and most of the papers were destroyed by uncontrolled paper-snatching by the crowd. The traffic police stopped vehicles from the crossroads at Welcome Super Market but hundreds of motorcycles were parked unsystematically around the Pipal Bot. Many climbed on to them. A boy at Basantapur was seen selling the papers in black. Many of the newspaper stands also did not get their quota of newspapers till 9.00 am, which made the students from the entire city to gather around the corporation office.

While the NTC claimed its plan to provide SLC results over the phone was quite a success, students from all over the Valley were disappointed at not getting the information required even after umpteen calls to the special number. Pragya Bhusal, an examinee from the Siddhartha Vanasthali Institute, said that she tried to get the line from 5.00 am but it was busy till late evening. According to NTC, 79,000 students called to get the information till 3.30 pm today and 55 per cent got the right information. More than 60 per cent students outside the Valley benefited from the service. Rabindra Jha, engineer at NTC, said only 20 per cent of the channels were given to the Valley. "Around 20 per cent of the callers punched the wrong numbers," said Jha. "It was not possible for more than 2,55,607 callers to get the information at the same time as the machine can take only 60 calls simultaneously."