Eight cabbies protesting fuel distribution hurt in police action

One-hour Baneshwor chakkajam today

Kathmandu, July 2:

At least eight taxi drivers were injured when police baton-charged them at Bhadrakali this afternoon.

Taxi drivers were protesting the army’s “discriminatory behaviour” while distributing fuel at the petrol station there when the police intervened.

Some eight vehicles were vandalised when a scuffle broke out between the cabbies and the police. “Three drivers who were seriously injured are undergoing treatment in Bir and Patan hospitals,” said Sitaram Khatri, the president of Nepal Taxi Drivers’ Union. A member of the union, Hari Chaulagain, is undergoing treatment in Bir Hospital.

The taxi drivers also said the Nepali Army was “discriminatory” while distributing fuel at the army’s Bhadrakali petrol station.

According to Khatri, the taxi drivers had queued up for petrol since 7 pm yesterday, but the army refused to give them the fuel this afternoon. The army claimed there was no fuel in the station. Following the clash, the taxi drivers staged a chakkajam, bringing traffic at one of the city’s busiest areas to a halt for around three hours. Khatri said the drivers’ union will organise a one-hour-long chakkajam at Baneshwor chowk tomorrow at 9 am to protest today’s police action.