Black flag greeting for two ministers

RUPANDEHI: Police and Unified CPN-Maoist cadres clashed when the latter greeted Minister for Irrigation Bal Krishna Khand with black flags in Rupandehi, today. The Maoists pelted stones at the police while the police charged them with batons.

Seven Maoist cadres including central member Bhakti Pandey and Rupandehi in-charge Harikullah Khan were injured in the clash. Maoist Awadh Madhes Rajya Samiti members, Prem Ghising, Karna Subedi and Bishnu Belbase were also injured. Cadres Ustad Neupane, Ram Aryal, Om Prakash Poudel and Yogendra Gautam, were injured too. Pandey is undergoing treatment at Lumbini Zonal Hospital while others at a primary health care centre.

Minister Khand was there to inaugurate People's Embankment Program in Butwal. Khand, however, urged the Maoists not to disrupt the developmental activities through violence. He also urged the Maoists to come to an agreement with the parties.

Meanwhile, UCPN-M have demanded action against police inspectors Hira Bahadur Pandey and Thag Bahadur KC. Maoist politburo member Devendra Poudel has also condemned the incident and said the incident was shocking while talks with the government was taking pace. The Maoists, later, protesting the incident halted traffic in Puspa Lal Park along the East-West highway for an hour.

Similarly, a clash ensued when Maoist cadres showed black flags at General Administration Minister Rabindra Shrestha, in Pyuthan, today. The minister was there to inaugurate a district conference of Youth Force. Two police personnel and five YCL cadres were injured in the clash that occurred in Pulchowk of Bagdula.”The injured are undergoing treatment at the District Hospital,” police said.