Rival student unions clash, 18 injured

Dhangadhi, March 24:

At least 18 students were injured when students affiliated with the All Nepal National Independent Students’ Union-Revolutionary (ANNISU-R) attacked a programme organised by the Free Students’ Union at Kailali Multiple Campus here today.

UML-affiliated All Nepal National Free Students’ Union (ANNFSU) accused that the students affiliated with ANNISU-R attacked the programme, which was organised after an agreement among all student unions.

ANNFSU’s activists, including Seti zonal in-charge Bishnu Chand, Dharmananda Awasthi, Sanjay Sharma and Dipak Khadka and ANNISU-R’s Sher Bahadur Raut and Ganesh Bhatt, among others, were injured in the scuffle. The condition of Chand is reportedly critical.

Laxmiram Acharya, central treasurer of ANNFSU (Sixth), was also hurt while trying to rescue the injured students. The injured are undergoing treatment at Seti zonal hospital in Dhangadhi. Chand and Acharya have been referred to Kathmandu for further treatment.

ANNFSU members are in majority in the FSU of the campus. After the FSU polls scheduled for March 19 were postponed, a new schedule had been made public for the polls. As per the new schedule, the student unions were scheduled to file their candidacy today.

“We were supposed to file our nominations after the programme,” Yagyaraj Dhungana, ANNFSU leader and outgoing FSU’s president, said. He said the ANNISU-R students attacked ANNFSU students with khukuris, iron rods and spears. “A gang of YCL cadres attacked the students,” he said, adding that some assailants were also carrying pistols.

However, the ANNISU-R accused ANNFSU students of attacking them. “The ANNFSU students attacked us with stones when we were entering the campus premises to file our ominations,” ANNISU-R’s presidential candidate Ramesh Dhami said. He also threatened to take action against Dhungana and outgoing secretary Birendra Khadka.

ANNISU-R students could be seen wielding sticks, iron rods and spears on the campus premises after the incident.

Following the clash, the campus administration has postponed the election programme, once again.

Meanwhile, issuing a press statement in Kathmandu, ANNFSU president Ram Kumari Jhakri claimed that ANNISU-R cadres, backed by YCL and PLA combatants of seventh division, attacked its leaders in Kailali. Jhakri also demanded action against the

perpetrators and treatment to the injured.