Nepal | July 11, 2020

Thousands stage protest against Dr KC’s arrest

Himalayan News Service
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Nepali Congress leader Gagan Thapa speaks during a protest following the medical activist Dr Govinda KC’s arrest demanding his immediate release calling it “Solidarity for Dr Kc” in Kathmandu, Nepal on Tuesday, January 09, 2018. Dr KC was arrested on Monday on charge of contempt of court. Photo: THT

Kathmandu, January 9

Thousands of people, including leaders and cadres of political parties, gathered in Maitighar today demanding the release of Dr Govinda KC, who was arrested on the charge of contempt of court.

‘Solidarity for Dr KC’ called for the mass protest against his arrest. Police had arrested him from the premises of Maharajgunj-based TU Teaching Hospital where he had launched his 14th fast-unto-death yesterday after the Supreme Court ordered reinstatement of Dr Shashi Sharma as dean of the Institute of Medicine. Police said he was arrested on the order of the Supreme Court.

Speaking at the rally, former prime minister and coordinator of Naya Shakti Party-Nepal Baburam Bhattarai said Dr KC’s overnight arrest was condemnable and demanded his immediate release. “A person (Dr KC) who is fighting for reforms in medical sector has no intention of making disrespectful and derogatory remarks against the court. His remarks will instead help the judiciary maintain its image,” Bhattarai said.

Nepali Congress leader Gagan Thapa urged the judiciary to perform its duties in a way that would win people’s hearts. “A court hinges on public trust, not on article of the constitution. We are staging protest to boost the image of the court, to not disrespect it,” he said. Thapa also challenged the SC to charge all protesters with contempt of court. “If Dr KC is liable to face action on contempt of court charge, why not we?” he said.

Bibeksheel Sajha Party leader Rabindra Mishra said Dr KC was an icon of selflessness and blamed the politicisation of every sector, including the judiciary, for this situation. “Dr KC is fighting for thirty million Nepali people and the arrest of such person is deplorable. The government has treated Dr KC as a criminal. He should be released immediately and the government has to launch a fact-finding investigation into allegations that Dr KC has levelled against the judiciary,” Mishra demanded.

Nepal Students Union also organised a protest rally demanding the release of Dr KC. Meanwhile, Nepal Medical Association condemned the arrest of Dr KC from the premises of the hospital. “Dr KC’s role in making the medical education and healthcare services accessible to all by putting his life at risk is unmatched. He is a catalyst of change. Therefore, we demand that he be released immediately,” read a press release issued by NMA.

A version of this article appears in print on January 10, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

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