Nationwide protests mark ‘Black Day’

Hundreds detained • Firing in Bhadrapur, Mahendranagar

Kathmandu, February 1:

Hundreds of protesters belonging to the seven-party alliance, who took to streets nationwide to mark the first anniversary of royal takeover as Black Day, were arrested while several sustained injuries in police action.

In the capital, the police lathi-charged the protesters and barred them from entering the Basantapur Square. The protesters, however, changed their venue of protest and

took out rallies in Pipalbot, New Road.

The heavy presence of security personnel in the Basantapur area foiled the scheduled mass meeting of the seven-party alliance.

The NC and CPN-UML took out rallies with black flags from Teku and Kalimati, while the NC (Democratic) took out a rally from Chhetrapati. Nepal Sadbhawana Party (Anandidevi) and Janamorcha Nepal took out rallies from Tripureswor. All the parties were supposed to converge into a mass meeting in Basantapur.

NC central member Mahanta Thakur and CPN-UML leader Raghuji Pant, who were leading the rallies of their respective parties, were arrested from the Basantapur Square. According to UML, Pant was hurt in police action. Nepal Workers’ and Peasants’ Party central leader Dilli Kafle was arrested from Indrachowk.

Police arrested 58 persons, including 12 women, from Mechinagar municipality of Jhapa, while 16 protesters were arrested in Damak and 30 in Bhadrapur. The cops had to fire 12 rounds in air to disperse the mob in Bhadrapur.

Up to 15 protesters were hurt in police action in Surkhet, where over 50 persons, including former minister Yam Raj Kandel, were arrested.

Over 10 leaders and party activists, including former mayor of Biratnagar municipality Ramesh Chandra Poudel, were held in Biratnagar. The police had to resort to firing in Mahendranagar to control the mob before arresting 10-odd protesters, including former speaker of the parliament Bhoj Raj Joshi and former MP Lal Bahadur BK.

In Rajbiraj, police arrested three student leaders from their homes, while two district leaders of the Nepali Congress were arrested from their residences in Lahan.

Over 60 arrests were made in Janakpurdham, 35 in Bidur, 44 in Gulariya, the district of Bardiya, 18 in Pokhara, 19 in Sarlahi, six in Dhangadhi and three in Pyuthan. In Nepalgunj, day cerfew was clamped to foil the protests.

In Gorkha, lecturers of Gorkha and Drabya Shah Multiple Campuses organised pen down strike.

In Syangja, 23 arrested persons marked ‘Black Day’ in custody.