Presidential oath row : 12 injured in clashes with police

Agitating students submit memorandum to President, CA Chairman

Kathmandu, July 28:

Representatives of student unions today submitted a memorandum to President Dr Ram Baran Yadav and Chairman of the Constituent Assembly Subas Nembang demanding that the Vice-President apologise in public for taking the oath of office in Hindi.

Students and various organisations organised programmes across the Kathmandu Valley to protest the Vice-President’s act of taking the oath of office in Hindi. Police fired dozens of tear gas shells in Putalisadak and Thamel to quell the agitation.

At least 12 agitating students were injured in clashes with the police at Putalisadak and Thamel. They have returned home after treatment. The unions held a torch rally in the evening. Taken out from Ratna Park, the rally converged into a mass meeting in Shanti Batika after passing through Putalisadak, Pradarsani Marga and Shahid Gate.

Addressing the meeting, president of All Nepal National Free Students Union Thakur Gaire said the movement was not against the Madhesi people, but was aimed at conserving the national language. He said Hindi can never be the national language of Nepal.

Gaire demanded that Vice-President Jha apologise for his act as it has hurt the sentiments of all Nepalis, including Maithili, Bhojpuri and Awadhi-speaking people. Gaire said the movement would continue unless Jha apologised for his act. Agitators vandalised the Sankhamul-based central office of the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum.

They also vandalised at least six vehicles in different parts of the Valley.

General secretary of the Nepal Students’ Union Manoj Mani Acharya said his organisation had proposed to withdraw the movement as it had slipped out of students’ control. Himal Sharma, general secretary, All Nepal National Independent Students’ Union-Revolutionary, said their movement was not against the Madhesis.

MJF, TMDP condemn vandalism:

Kathmandu: Parliamentary party office of the MJF has condemned the act of vandalism unleashed in its central office in Shankhamul.

“We condemn vandalism carried out in our office by a communal group, mistreatment of party officials and people of the Madhesi community in and around Kathmandu,” the office said.

It demanded strong action against those involved in the attack on its office.

Tarai Madhes Democratic party also condemned acts of vandalism unleashed against Madhesis and Madhes-based political parties.

In a press release, TMDP president Mahantha Thakur said groups resorting to vandalism in the name of certain language showed they did not accept the principle of equality and co-existence.

“A language is just a means of expression and it is not linked to a country itself. In India also, oath is taken in Nepali and Bengali is the major language for both Bangladesh and West Bengal of India,” said TMDP leader Brishes Chandra Lal. Madhesi Journalists Society also condemned the attack on the MJF office. — HNS