THT 10 years ago: Koirala hurt, other leaders arrested at protest rally

Kathmandu, September 4, 2006

Scores of political party leaders and activists were injured and hundreds arrested today when police intervened in a pro-democracy rally organized by the seven agitating parties at Basantapur and New Road.

Former prime minister and president of the Nepali Congress Girija Prasad Koirala was injured slightly when policemen detained him forcefully and tried to take him to Janasewa Police Station.

Eighty-two-year-old Koirala was later taken to his residence by the policemen.

Other leaders who were arrested are Arjun Narasingh KC, Ram Chandra Paudel, Shushil Koirala, Ram Sharan Mahat and Mina Pandey of NC, Jhalanath Khanal and Bamdev Gautam of United Marxist Leninist, CP Mainali of Bam Morcha Nepal, and Kumar Suman of Nepal Sadbhawana Party (Anandi Devi).

The detained leaders told reporters at the scene of the arrest that their arrests would help intensify the protest further in the coming days.

Indra Bahadur Shahi, Narayan Koirala and Kamal Ghodari were among those injured in the scuffle at and around New Road.

Despite the police lathi charging them, the protesters, who were in thousands, broke barriers set up by the policemen to prevent them from reaching New Road, several times.

Police lobed tear gas shells to disperse the crowd at Khichapokhari, New Road, Indrachowk and Dharmapath at around 3:50 p.m. and the tussle between the demonstrators and the police continued till 5:00 p.m.

Alliance wants King to conduct assembly polls

Leaders of the seven party alliance have started asking whether the King would be ready to conduct election to a constituent assembly to find a solution to the current crisis.

This comes after the Maoists outlined their bottom line — an interim government and election to a constituent assembly. “We have seen some crucial decisions taken last week.

There is a new wave of titanic developments. Now we can expect a new and crucial phase,” said CPN-UML leader Jhala Nath Khanal at an interaction here today. Citing recent developments, Khanal said, “We can only imagine the future”.

Conceding the Maoists could have a hidden agenda, Khanal, however, said an objective analysis throws up eight reasons why we must seize the opportunity.

Nepali Congress (NC) leader Arjun Narsingh KC denied the ceasefire has come all of a sudden. “This is the result of talks between our party president and Bamdev Gautam with Maoist leaders in New Delhi. This was in the air.

The next step is that the king must stop capitalizing on violence to consolidate his grip,” he said.

KC also said that while revival of the parliament is the ideal way, party would not mind going for a constituent assembly.