THT 10 YEARS AGO: Petro price hike fuels nationwide protests

Kathmandu, January 22, 2008

Yesterday’s hike in price of petro products, including cooking gas, kerosene and diesel, sparked protests in different parts of the Valley that paralysed the capital throughout the day.

Reports from across the nation also said there were widespread protests. Demonstrators clashed with police at Baneswor, Chabahil, Koteswor, Bhotahiti and Thamel. Police baton-charged the demonstrators at different places.

Police fired three tear gas shells at Ratna Park and Bhotahiti. Scores of demonstrators were injured in the clashes. Five police personnel, including inspector Ramesh Thapa, were injured in the clashes. However, student leaders said not a single protester was seriously injured. Students of different public colleges resorted to demonstrations in front of their college premises, burning tyres and chanting anti-government slogans and blocking vehicular movement right from the morning after hearing about the price hike.

Protests were staged by the students and general consumers at Amrit Science College and Saraswoti Multiple College of Thamel area, Paknajole, Bhrikuti Mandap, Ghantaghar, Bagbazar, Putalisadak, Anamnagar, Tahachal, Minbhawan, Patan and Kirtipur, Jorpati, Swoyambhu, among other places.

All Nepal National Free Students Union and All Nepal National Independent Students Union-Revolutionary, along with other sister organisations of the CPN Maoist, organised separate rallies at the heart of the city.

Sushil Koirala attacked, escapes unscathed

Mahottari, January 22, 2008

Cadres of the Tarai-Madhes Democratic Party, Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum and Nepal Bhoomihin Sangh attacked acting president of the Nepali Congress Sushil Koirala in Mahottari district headquarters Jaleshwor today.

Eyewitness said angry protesters pelted stones at him when he was coming out of the NC district office. The incident turned into a clash when the NC cadres retaliated against the assailants.

NC district secretary Bajarang Nepal, chairman of Nepal Peasants Association Mahottari Ram Sitesh Roy were injured in the incident. Also protesters Mithilesh Kumar Yadav of local Sonama 1 and Geeta Devi of local Gaushala b a z a a r were hurt in the clash. Koirala remained unharmed, police said. Police had to use force to take control of the situation. Police detained 14 cadres of MJF, NBS and TMDP who were involved in the attack.

The Tarai-Madhes Democratic Party has called a Mahottari bandh tomorrow in protest against police excesses. Its president in Mahottari, Abhiram Sharma, issued a release in this regard today. Jaleshwor remained tense since 10:00 am today.

The Janakpur-Jaleshwor road was obstructed after NBS called for a Mahottari bandh today.