Protesters unfazed at govt bid to suppress stir

Hetauda, April 15:

Some 116 agitators were detained in Hetauda for defying curfew but were released later in the afternoon. Agitators, including UML central member Kedar Neupane and the former deputy mayor of the municipality Haribol Mahat were among those detained, the District Police Office said. Police said FNJ district member Deepak Adhikari and other 19 agitators, held on Thursday and Friday, would be released in the evening.

The Makwanpur chapter of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists and human rights organisations are making efforts to get the arrested persons released.

Meanwhile, in Dhading the DAO issued a prohibitory order notice in the district headquarters after an announcement by the seven political parties of a mass assembly scheduled for today.

The DAO urged civilians not to take part in the agitation. However, the agitating parties said they would not abandon their objective of making the agitation a success.

In Narayangarh, farmers and disabled expressed solidarity with the movement of the seven political parties.

A report from Rautahat said, hundreds of women staged plate rally in Gaur. The rally converged into a corner assembly in Shahid Chowk. Various women leaders addressed the assembly.

In Lamjung, agitating parties staged a street corner assembly at Bhimsen Chowk. Ganesh Prasad Neupane of Nepali Congress, Ambika Ghimire of NC-Democratic, Mahendra Lal Shrestha of UML, addressed the gathering.

In Rupandehi, children and members of the Muslim community staged demonstrations in support of the stir. Women workers of Radha Swami Naya Mill in Rupandehi provided food to travellers ns stranded due to the general strike. Sources said some 100 stranded persons were fed today.

Expressing solidarity with the movement, the Commerce and Industry Association, Ramechhap, called a bandh in Ramechhap. The association staged a rally in Manthanli bazaar this morning. Even medical shops remained closed. In Baglung, over 5,000 women staged a rally which converted into a public assembly on Mahendra Campus.

Baglung teachers, demanding the release of teachers arrested in the course of ongoing movement, staged a sit-in on the street for two hours. Some 500 teachers participated the sit-in protest.

In Mahendranagar, women took out a “plate rally”. The rally started from Siwalik Boarding School, went around the city and converted into a public assembly at Madan Chowk.

Women leaders Maya Bhatta, Niru Pal, Kalpana KC, teacher Tara Bhatta, civil servant Dr Maya Sharma and chairperson of Nari Utthan Kendra Bimala Bista addressed the assembly.

Meanwhile, teachers undergoing a training course in Mahendranagar boycotted it in support of the ongoing stir. Some 20 teachers from Doti, Bajura, Bajhang, Dadeldhura, Kailai and Kanchanpur were undergoing training in a lower secondary school from April 2.

In Bara, security personnel arrested four people who were actively taking part in rallies at Simra and Jeetpur. Tara Karki, Dinesh Rai, Amrit Lal Shrestha and Kul Bahadur Pandit were arrested, chief of the Bara district UML publicity department Krishna Poudel said. He alleged they were arrested from their residences.

In Jeetpur, over 500 children staged a rally. In Dipayal, police arrested five and injured two dozen agitators. Secretary of the NC-D district working committee Pradip Deuba, UML district committee member Yagya Raj Joshi, NSU central member Ram Bahadur Rokaya, Prakash Singh of NSU-Democratic and advisory coordinator of the UML district committee Krishna Malasi were among the arrested. The local administration has handed them three-month detention notices. Baton charges by the police left Sonu Ghimire (10), Anil Shahi (10), Lokendra Shahi and Bhim Bahadur Kattel critically injured.

In Bhairahawa, around 50,000 people staged a demonstration. Diregarding the 41 degree Centigrade temperature, even elderly people joined the demonstration and rally. Scores of protesters walked fr 25 kilometres to reach Bhairahawa and join the rally. Army men welcomed the rally by waving their hands.