Kathmandu, August 22:

Women from the Badi community today staged a half-naked demonstration in front of the Singha Durbar to press the government to meet their demands.

They entered the prohibited area and stripped off their clothes. Police had a tough time preventing the half-naked women from entering into the Singha Durbar. About a dozen agitators, including Arjun, Sanjay, Kalpana, Bishnu and Uma Devi, were injured in a scuffle with the police.

Thirteen persons, including journalist and Dalit activist Binod Pahadi, seven Badi women and Dalit rights activists, were arrested from the Singha Durbar south gate. They were released later in the evening. Around 225 Badi women and 200 men, who entered the Valley on August 15, have been staging various forms of protest programmes in the capital. They are staying at Bankali Dharmashala in Gaushala.

President of the Badi Rights Struggle Committee Uma Devi Badi said the government wanted “us to remain their servants and fulfil their sexual desires”.

She said that the Badi women are planning to stage a naked parade at the Singha Durbar gate to protest against the government’s indifference towards their demands. “We are also going to knock the door of the Prime Minister’s residence in Baluwatar soon,” she said.