Protest at airport

Kathmandu, August 4:

Nepal Republic Sports Federation (NRSF) and National Sports Council Employees Association (NSCEA) today staged a protest at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in their unsuccessful bid to stop ‘unauthorised’ persons from going to the Beijing Olympics.

The protesters had claimed half of the 36-member delegation was unrelated with sports, including chef-de-mission Sita Ram Maskey. The agitators were divided into two groups and were keeping vigil at the TIA main gate and the departure terminal. The protesters bade farewell to the players, while they tried to bar them from going inside.

NOC member Sunil Rajkarnikar had to seek police assistance to escort Youth Olympic Camp participant Nancy Lama inside the building. The protesters were also engaged in a heated argument with the chef-de-mission Maskey. Education and Sports minister Pradeep Nepal and his wife arrived after the protesters had dispersed.

NSC Member Secretary Jeevan Ram Shrestha and NOC President Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan along with their wives and Youth Olympic Camp participant Rajen Ram Shrestha did not turn up at the regular gate. In all, 28 members somehow managed to board the China South West Airlines flight.

The other group of the agitators, led by NSCEA President Narayan Dev Rana, at the Ring Road were involved in the scuffle with the police, who baton-charged to disperse the protesters. Rana said some of their members including himself were injured. "The exact situation is not known yet. We will make public our further programmes after a meeting with NDSF," he said.