Nepal | October 28, 2020

Undesirable activities up with eased lockdown

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Scores of locals and shop owners of Thamel, a core tourist destination of the country, have started patrolling the area at night.

Shop owners and locals have taken the step after ‘unwanted’ people’s movement increased during the late night after the lockdown was relaxed from last Thursday.

More than 8,000 shops, restaurants, entertainment clubs, travel agencies, banks, money exchange services and other facilities were closed for nearly six months. Although majority of these shops were closed, the number of suspicious people, hooligans and sex workers have started increasing in the area at night.

Worried about the safety of the area, various clubs and community development committees have started employing 80 to 90 volunteers in the area to stop such people. The programme is also supported by Thamel Tourism Development Council, ward offices of local government and Nepal Police.

Punya Ram Lageju, treasurer of Thamel Tourism Development Council, said that they started patrolling the area in a bid to control unwanted activities of youths and sex workers.

“Everyday, a number of hooligans and youths gather in the area, most of them are drunk and pose threat to the public and businesses here,” Lageju said. He further said in such a scenario, sex workers have started negotiating with their clients on the street itself making the situation overtly uncomfortable for people living in the area.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Deepak Khadka, head of Sorhakhutte Police Circle that overlooks the security of Thamel area admitted that hooliganism and prostitution had increased in the area after the lockdown was relaxed.

“But, we are extra careful to avoid any untoward incident in the area.”

Thamel area has been wearing a deserted look for the last six months after the government imposed lockdown on March 24 in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus. The lockdown compelled many businessmen to shut their shops.

Although the lockdown has largely been lifted, very little or no business in the area has resumed.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 22, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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