Goons beat up FORWARD employees

ITAHARI: An unidentified gang attacked employees of the Forum for Rural Women Ardency Development (FORWARD), who had been agitating for the last three weeks demanding an increment in their salary and bonuses.

The protesters have accused that the management had hired goons to attack them. Staffer Bhimsen Gachhadar, who is also a leader of Nepal Trade Union and Dibyaraj Sapkota were thrashed on Saturday night. Protesting the attack, the employees blocked the Duhabi section of the Koshi Highway for some time. They also chanted slogans against Constituent Assembly member Bhagawati Chaudhari who is also the chief of FORWARD.

Stating that the management had made murder attempt, the agitating employees vandalised the central office of FORWARD at Duhabi-3 .They also torched a jeep at the office premise.

According to the Area Police Office Duhabi, property worth millions got damaged in the vandalism. About 176 employees have been staging protest putting forth their 30-point demand. Owing to the protests, work at FORWARD and its 29 branches in eight different districts in the Eastern Development Region have come to a grinding halt. FORWARD management, however, has declined to react on the accusation of the protesters.

The demands of the agitating employees include permanent status for them, offering Dashain bonus, hiring employees through open competition and public holidays as per the guidelines of Nepal Rastra Bank.