Nepal: Sea of humanity in district protests


4-22-06, 9:36 am

Kathmandu, April 20 - More than hundred thousand people marched in the streets of Pokhara in Kaski, Narayangadh in Chitwan and Ghorahi in Dang district on Thursday demanding immediate restoration of Loktantra and end of autocratic monarchy.

Tens of thousands of people had come to the district headquarters from remote villages.

More than 150 social and other organizations and government employees took part in the rally in Dang saying Loktantra (democracy) was essential for their professional and individual wellbeing.

Police did not block the rally neither did army personnel try to check the demonstrators on their way to Ghorahi from adjoining villages.

The rally jam packed about three-kilometer long road with the demonstrators holding placards that called for end of autocratic monarchy, establishment of Loktantra, election to constituent assembly and peaceful settlement of present problems. The rally continued for three hours since 11:30 am. About 10,000 people demonstrated in Ghorahi and Tulsipur separately.

Forces indiscriminately shoot at demonstrators

In Gulariya of Bardiya district, the security personnel indiscriminately shot at peaceful demonstration, injuring over three dozens of demonstrators. Several rounds of blank fires were shot, injuring 30, Royal Nepalese Army Headquarters in Kathmandu said. Several rounds of teargas shells were fired at the demonstrators, the RNA headquarters added. Army also claimed that about 14/15 rounds of bullet from SMG were fired from the demonstrators’ side.

Over 100,000 rallied throughout the day in Pokhara and Narayangadh.

Reports from Pokhara said more than 100,000 people rallied in Pokhara where the government has imposed curfew orders for the past couple of days to foil the Seven Party Alliance's massive rallies in this resort town. Police blocked the demonstrators by forming a barricade at the edge of curfew zone till 5 pm. The demonstrators, entered the city after 5 pm and held mass meeting at Mahendrapool.

Similar rally was taken out in Narayangadh where an onlooker woman was shot dead by the government forces last week. The demonstrators went around the entire part of the city chanting anti-king slogans and called for immediate restoration of democracy. They also warned the leaders of defiance if they made any compromise to end the ongoing movement without attaining its desired goal.

Similarly in Palpa, the largest ever rally in the district was taken out demanding immediate restoration of democracy. Nepali Congress leader Dr Ram Sharan Mahat and CPN-UML leader Yubaraj Gyawali addressed the rally that went around major areas of the town shouting slogans against autocratic monarchy.

Meanwhile, report from Itahari states that tens of thousands workers in Sunsari industrial area took to the streets demanding immediate restoration of democratic rights and civil liberties.

Trade union leaders, addressing the rally, urged the Seven Party Alliance leaders not to make any compromise with the king in haste. They claimed the movement was not limited to particular group or parties now and said democracy was essential for safeguarding their union rights.

The workers, whose factories have remained closed for the past two weeks, were in the street banging empty plates. 'We are ready to have half meal everyday but committed to establish democratic system,' Ayub Husain, a trade union leader, said.

Employees of public corporations and some government offices also took part in the rally. Plainclothes security personnel infiltrated the rally in Itaharri and provoked people. About a dozen were injured in stampede after the infiltrators spread rumor about police opening fire.

National players like Umalal Yadav, Ram Bahadur Yadav, Madan Shah and Lokeshwar Choudhari also took part in the demonstrations demanding democracy. Similarly, thousands of people rallied in Duhabi and other eastern cities.

In Nepalgunj, freedom fighters who were taking part in democratic movement for the third time in their life warned that the country would head to republicanism if the king refused to return power to the people. They also urged the parties to intensify the movement until the people became fully sovereign.

In Dailekh, RNA personnel threatened to lock the bank and telecom staffs inside their office if they continued strikes.

Huge rallies were also taken out in Lamjung, Dhading, Bajhang, Nuwakot, Humla, Bajura, Panchthar, Kavre and Khotang.

From Kantipur Online