Violence mars squatters’ bandh

KATHMANDU: Valley denizens defied the bandh called by the United National Squatters’ Front today to press the government to scrap its decision to evict squatters living on riverbanks without offering any alternative.

Riot police rounded up 427 bandh enforcers — including 166 women — for vandalising vehicles and trying to obstruct vehicular movement.

Of them, 405 were arrested from the Capital city. The demonstrators vandalised 13 vehicles, including that of Yeti Airlines and Nepal Samacharpatra daily.

Demonstrators also pelted stones at Naxal-based College of Applied Science, injuring a student.

Police had stepped in to disperse rallies taken out in Bhaktapur and Thapathali and arrested demonstrators for trying to enforce shutdown.

Riot police and protesters clashed in various parts of the city, but no injuries were reported.

Shops, marketplaces, enterprises and education institutions remained open and vehicles plied the streets as usual.

Meanwhile, Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) condemned the attack on press during the bandh.

Issuing a statement, FNJ stated that some miscreants vandalised the vehicle of Nepal Samacharpatra at 6 am in Kupandole.

It termed such actions an attack on press and freedom of expression and asked the government to compensate the media house and take action against culprits.
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