Kathmandu, August 27:

Over 135 activists of the Dalit and Badi communities were arrested from the southern gate of Singhadurbar this morning. They were, however, freed in the evening.

Several groups of protesters converged at the prohibited area from different routes and staged a sit-in there. The protesters had covered their mouths with black scarfs.

Around 15 agitators were injured when they clashed with the police. One demonstrator, Mithu Badi, fell unconscious when the police intervened. The injured — Sanjay Badi, Rama Badi, Basanti Badi, Gomati Badi and others — are undergoing treatment in the Model Hospital.

Those arrested were the president of the Badi Rights Struggle Committee (BRSC), Uma Devi Badi, conveners of the Dalit Citizens Movement (DCM) Binod Pahadi and Moti Lal Nepali, Dr Renu Rajbhandari, Ram Nepali, Suklal Nepali Rem Biswokarma, Subash Darnal, Lalit Pariyar, Gomati Badi, Rukmini Badi, Sanjeev Badi, Rabindra Danuwar and Basanta Nepali. The DCM will hold an interaction with sister organisations of political parties tomorrow.

Rights bodies back Badis

Kathmandu: Various women’s organisations have expressed solidarity with women from the Badi community and condemned the suppression of their protests by the state. In a press statement issued on Monday, the Jagaran Nepal said the Badi women have the right to live a dignified life as other citizens. The Feminist Dalit Organisation has also expressed solidarity with the protests of the Badi women to press the government to meet their 12-point charter of demands.”

“We appeal to the government to address the demands of the Badis and stop irresponsible activities during the protest programme,” the organisation said in a press statement. — HNS