Nepal | October 21, 2020

17 supporters of Dr KC arrested from Maitighar

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Police have arrested 17 peaceful demonstrators, who had gathered at Maitighar Mandala today. They were there to express solidarity with senior orthopaedic surgeon Dr Govinda KC, who has been staging his 19th hunger strike for the last 13 days.

Supporters of Dr KC were wearing face masks of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli holding placards that read ‘True Oli on road, Fake Oli in Baluwatar.’ High number of security personnel deployed at the protest site immediately sprung into action and arrested them.

Superintendent of Police Saumendra Singh Rathour, spokesperson for Metropolitan Police Range, Teku, said. “We could not let people come to the streets in the time of pandemic and use abusive language to defame the prime minister.”

They were arrested for staging protest at restricted zone in Maitighar, according to police.

All the arrested were kept inside the Nepal Police Health Club for all day and were later released.

A youth initiated group called Solidarity with Dr Govinda KC, has been staging protests at Maitighar for the past few days after the government did not heed to the demands put forth by medical education reformist Dr KC. His hunger strike has forced the government to make a dozen of improvements in medical education across the country.

His hunger strike has put an end to the trend of haphazardly admitting students in medical colleges and made it mandatory for students to pass the tough examination before being admitted to MBBS programme at any private or public medical college. His hunger strike has also forced the government to stop distributing license to medical colleges randomly and he has also been able to increase scholarship quota for talented students in medical education.

Dr KC, however, has been forced to sit in for another fast-unto-death to exert pressure on the government to start an MBBS programme at Karnali Academy of Health Sciences. He has also forwarded other demands including increasing the range of PCR tests to identify more COVID-19 patients and contact tracing following the result, ending lockdowns and prohibitory orders, making use of mask and physical distancing compulsory for all.

He has also demanded investigation into various corruption cases in the country including those in the health sector.

Feature image: File

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 27, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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