Culture activists arrested, freed

Kathmandu, December 16

Six culture activists were arrested for protesting construction of concrete structures at Sleshmantak forest area, near the World Heritage site of Pashupatinath temple, today.

Pashupati Area Development Trust had filed a complaint at Gaushala police station against the activists, claiming that they pelted stones at the construction site. The activists, on the other hand, said they did not want concrete structures to be built near the world heritage site.

According to Sanjay Adhikari, a culture activist, six activists visited the office of Pashupati Area Development Trust to request it to stop construction of concrete structures in the forest area. “We went to the office, but there was no one we could talk to. So we directly went to the construction site and removed the concrete structure. Workers were building concrete pavement there,” he said.

Earlier, the Department of Archaeology had sent a letter to the Pashupati Area Development Trust asking it not to build concrete structures in the area.

“We have requested the Pashupati Area Development Trust to halt construction of concrete structures in the area,” shared Suresh Shrestha, chief of world heritage section, Department of Archaeology.

The activists were released after a meeting among police, Pashupati Area Development Trust and DoA officials. They have filed a complaint against Pashupati Area Development Trust for ‘destroying cultural heritage by constructing concrete structures’.