Tension over abduction from Casino Tara; Abducted man released after hours

Kathmandu, March 7:

The Bouddha area remained tense this morning after locals protested a man’s “abduction” by members of the Maoist-affiliated All Nepal Hotel Workers’ Union, Casino Tara unit, last night.

A dispute broke out in the area in the morning after the locals protested the “abduction” of Anil Lama, a resident of Bouddha, who was allegedly misbehaving with female employees, security guards and customers in the casino last night, police said.

The issue was settled later in the afternoon after a meeting of representatives of the locals, the casino management and the trade union. The locals also vandalised property inside the casino premises to protest the thrashing of Lama in Maoist captivity.

Ramesh Panta, the president of the Maoist trade union, said casino workers took away the inebriated Lama yesterday night as he was unable to pay the amount he lost while gambling and misbehaved with female workers and the security staff.

“We freed him after he apologised during the meeting,” he said.

Movement of people in the casino areas was halted from morning till afternoon today due to the protest programme. The locals burnt tyres in the middle of the road and blocked traffic.

The locals said they ransacked the casino premises as they were enraged at seeing the Maoist workers who had “abducted” and beaten up Lama.

Panta admitted that Lama was “slightly beaten up” in captivity.

The casino management refused to comment on the matter.