YCL, SLR donation-collection bid affecting passengers

Taplejung, October 2:

Sanghiya Limbuwan Rajyaparisad (SLR) cadres and cades of Young Communist League (YCL) have set up separate road blocks at different places along the Mechi Highway and are forcibly collecting donation from passengers and vehicles passing by.

Transport entrepreneurs said some of the vehicles were returned from the barricades for failing to pay donations to them and this has badly affected their business and caused much problems to the travellers and businessmen.

In charge of the Taplejung-based Mechi Bus Entrepreneurs’ Association counter, Jung Sunuwar, said SLR cadres are forcefully collecting donations from vehicles and passengers at Bahanande and Kabeli section of the Mechi Highway.

They demand Rs 2,000 for a tonne of local herb Chiraito, Rs 500 for each truck of Lokta, Rs 90 for each sack of cardamom, Rs 200 for each tractor sand and Rs 50 for each sack

of Churpi, the transport entrepreneurs said, adding, they are forced to provide

donations to YCL cadres posted along the same same route.

Transport entrepreneurs have to pay donation to different groups who have set up barricades at an interval of 20 km along the highway, Bidur Bhattarai of Taplejung said.

He further added that the passengers are forced to return from their journey if they fail

to pay donations.

“We are planning to close markets,” Chairperson of Taplejung chamber of commerce and industries, Santosh Khatiwada said, adding that several vehicles have to return back from midway if they fail to pay the demanded amounts as donations.

“The parties engaged in donation drive had agreed with us not to conduct such activities, but they are not following their own commitment,” chief district officer Phanindra Pokhrel said, adding that a meeting of businessmen, political parties, civilians and local administration was held on Sunday, but it ended inconclusively as the groups involved in collecting donations said they would go on with their drive.

The district administration office has said that security will be tightened in the highway and strict measures will be taken to discourage such activities there. The SLR, however, said that it will continue collecting donation.

“We have to collect donation for the upkeep of SLR volunteers,” SLR Taplejung chairman Hom Tumhamphe said. Maoist district-in-charge Kaushal said that they are collecting

donations from people for the establishment of a democratic republic.