19 hurt in fuel price hike protests

Kathmandu, August 28:

Three students were badly injured and five more sustained minor injuries when they clashed with the police in front of Shankher Dev Campus at Putalisadak during a protest against the hike in prices of petroleum products. Sunil Poudel, Shyam Lama and Surya Bahadur Thapa who were badly injured in the clash are undergoing treatment in Kathmandu Model Hospital.

The students were hurt after the tear gas shells fired at the students by the police hit them. Police fired around 20 shells of tear gas. Five other students were hurt during the exchange of stones between the police and the students. Irate students burnt tyres on the road, pelted stones at the police and chanted slogans against price hike. Prakash Maharjan, secretary of the FSU, said the police fired tear gas shells to deliberately injure the students, not to disperse the students.

Similarly, eight student unions today organised a ‘mask rally’ from ASCOL Campus. Students who had covered their heads with black clothes marched through Thamel to converge into a corner meeting at Ason. Thakur Gaire, general secretary of All Nepal National Free Students Union (ANNFSU), said the students’ movement would continue until the ‘Royal government’ rectified its mistake. Chanting slogans against the King, joint general secretary of Nepal Students’ Union Kalyan Kumar Gurung challenged the government to arrest and charge him with sedition. Meanwhile, students tore up the photographs of the royal family at Padma Kanya School. The student bodies have also announced week-long protest programme in all the campus.

A report from Nawalparasi said police today interfered in a protest rally organised by students against the hike in prices of petroleum products and arrested five student leaders. Those arrested are Nepal Students Union (NSU) district president Naresh Bhandari, All Nepal National Free students Union district president Bhim Lal Kandel, Free Students Union president

of Lumbini Adarsha Campus Ram Chandra Bhattarai, NSU president of the campus Rajesh Poudel and student leader Bhim Shrestha. The students said the protests would continue until all the detained students were released. In Palpa at least eleven people including a journalist were injured in a clash following the police intervention in the agitation programme of the student organisations in Tansen today. Students were protesting against the hike in price of petroleum products.

Palpa correspondent of the Rajdhani daily and FNJ general convention member, Ram Prasad Neupane, was injured after police fired teargas canisters to disperse the students at Tribhuvan Multiple Campus in Tansen. Six other students were hurt. FNJ Palpa has strongly condemned the incident. The police acted ‘abnormally’ against the journalist who was there to collect news and photographs, a statement signed said.