Biratnagar, December 7:

Students kept up their protest against the Education Act Amendment Bill 2006 in Biratnagar, Lamjung and Pokhara today.

Biratnagar remained tense as students continued their protests against the Education Act Amendment Bill 2006.

The students burnt tyres at Bargachi, Bhrikutichowk, Shiv Temple, Mahendra Chowk and Hospital Chowk and vandalised several vehicles. They also shut down bazaars in Biratnagar at the call of the joint struggle committee of students of the Faculty of Management. They also disrupted traffic at Ghantagharchowk by burning tyres.

Half-a-dozen vehicles, including a school bus belonging to the Sagarmatha Boarding School and a vehicle belonging to the Dairy Development Corporation, were vandalised, DSP at the District Police Office (DPO) Rabindra Sharma said. Demonstrations began early in the morning.

All academic institutions were closed in Biratnagar due to the demonstration, the Morang branch of Private and Boarding Schools’ Organisation of Nepal (PABSON) said. However, classes in schools and campuses in rural areas of Morang were conducted as usual.

A report from Pokhara said students burnt copies of the bill. Hundreds of students led by students of the Faculty of Education of the Prithvi Narayan Campus reached the regional education office at Pardi, burnt copies of the Bill and demanded education minister Manandhar’s resignation. Administrative work in the District Education Office and the regional education office has been stalled since yesterday as students have padlocked these offices.

The students, threatening that their agitation will continue until the Bill is annulled, have announced fresh protests. We will stage torch rallies against the Bill tomorrow, said the coordinator of the students’ struggle committee, Ziya-ul Haque. Students protesting the government’s decision to make temporary schoolteachers permanent brought vehicular movement to a halt and closed down schools in Lamjung district. However, government offices and markets remained open.

Students of the Bhoteodar Bhakti Adarsha Campus, Bhakti Namuna Higher Secondary School, Jana Bikash Higher Secondary School and the Marsyandi Multiple Campus created obstructions by placing boulders on roads and burning tyres.

Students staged demonstrations demanding the resignation of the Minister of Education Mangal Siddhi Manandhar and the annulment of the Education Bill, said chairperson of the students’ struggle committee Dhan Kaji Gurung.

Tourists headed to the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) for trekking could not arrive due to the bandh.

“Some 150 tourists were arriving here for trekking in the ACAP area daily. However, the number has gone down to almost nil due to the bandh,” said Brij Bahadur Gurung of a tourist checkpost in Kaski.

Students in rural areas of the district are also protesting against the Bill.