Police Kick Out Students From Rato Ghar

All Nepal National Free Student Union ousted from Rato Ghar

At a time when pro-democratic parties are gearing up for a movement for the freedom of expression and people’s right to governance, Nepal Police this morning stormed into the offices All Nepal National Free Student Union (ANNFSU) at Rato Ghar (Red House) in Ratna Park, Kathmandu and captured the building. This unilateral decision of the royal government has effectively ousted the student organization from the building where they have been staying for the last 15 years. All the belongings of ANNFSU are now in police control and police arrested 13 students who protested the unjustified takeover.

According to Jeetendra Sah, a reporter, the unified command of security forces (police and army) have set up their offices in the building. Armed police went to the Rato Ghar at around 5 am this morning to stage a Bihari style raid and captured the building. No students were present there. When students reached there at around 9 am to open the office, they found the building heavily guarded by armed police.

This decision of authorities will nothing but definitely worsen the already hostile relationship between the royal government and pro-democratic forces. Students are the future of any society. They hold the power to drive the society in positive direction. Royal authorities were already marking the office because they though giving space to students in the building meant letting them operate their pro-democratic activities freely in the heart of the city. Replacing students with police will only militarize our society further.

A team of police went to Rato Ghar on March 31 and ordered the students to vacate the building immediately. The police team also ordered the shops on the ground floor of the building to vacate the room within a week.

Famous Rato Ghar is a state-owned building that is managed by Rastriya Sabha Griha Samiti (RSGS) of Kathmandu Metropolitan City. All inhabitants of the building pay rent to RSGS. Immediately after the democracy was restored in 1990, ANNFSU captured the building and set up its offices in two of its four floors. Before, Rastrabadi Mandal, a pro-King and pro-Panchayati group, occupied the same space. All the governments of pro-democracy era let the ANNFU to use the building as its office. When the CPN UML, mother party of ANNFSU, divided into two factions a few years ago, the group too broke up and the two factions took the each of the two floors. When the party united the office became unified too.

“We have taken this step as an act of harassment and intimidation,” Upadhaya said in a telephone interview. “If the police use force to move us from there, we will respond appropriately. The state should be responsible for the consequences of such scenario.”

Related Blog:
1. Police Orders Student Group To Vacate Building

10 Comments »

all student union of nepal are politically driven. And i studied in tri chandra. i dont recall anyting important other then doing politics in campus and burning government properties. as u said wagle

“Students are the future of any society. They hold the power to drive the society in positive direction” that is true but i dont think politically driven student serves that purpose.police shouldnt have kicked students from that building without any reasion though

Comment by raja — 5/11/2005 @ 5:06 am

The earlier the King and his croonies realise that the future generation of Nepal are not going to sit around and continue to worship him as a reincarnation of one of our Gods- the better off he will be. He has made a mockery of belief held by the people of Nepal far too may times now.

Arresting stuents and forcibly taking over a building used by them clamp down on dissent is counter productive – the only result from this action, one can only hope, is that the students will come out even stronger against the repression of this government.

Comment by Kripa — 5/11/2005 @ 8:40 am

WHy should the govt. allow the govt. property to be used for free , indefinitely by a student’s union of a political party forever???? THis is jungle raj. Shouldn’t the student union pay rent for the prime property that they were using from the last 12 years? This is corruption of the highest scale. THis red house is in central of the town. The monthly rent would have easily been 1 lakh Rs. per month. WHich is 12 Lakhs Rs. per year. This studnet union needs to pay 1 crore 40 lakhs to the government. Its our money.

Comment by Jeevan Sharma — 5/11/2005 @ 9:37 am

What nonsense!! How can you use a public property forever without paying taxes or rent? This is a loot. There could be nice fashion store there or a nice jazz bar for the tourists to enjoy. Why the hell do we need a student union’s party office in the most posh area of Kathmandu???? It is not only corruption, it is also nonsense. Why don’t they open their office in one of the many flats of their tallest party office in Balkhu?

Comment by Aparna Rawat — 5/11/2005 @ 9:54 am

I support comments present above.

Comment by sita — 5/11/2005 @ 5:18 pm

This building belongs to municipality not to the police. How did you know student did not pay the rent? Will police pay the rent to municipality?

The students are out of Rato Ghar now, which should result into the getting Gyanendra out of the Narayanahiti Palace by the Nepali people tomorrow.

Comment by Ghanendra — 5/11/2005 @ 6:19 pm

Yes, if the police have taken the rato ghar, it should pay the rent to the municipality. But the student cum leaders should not be allowed to use that prime property for free. The municipality is also the government. It should make a nice department store over there. Or a cyber cafe, or a library, anything but not a private office of hoodloms. Even that without paying nothing.

Comment by Sujan Rajbhandary — 5/11/2005 @ 7:11 pm

Bravo!!! I’m really happy that these so called student leaders, infact hoodlums of parties, have been kicked out of the rato ghar. As a resident of Bagbazar, I’m grateful to to authorities for cleaning up the bagbazar street of dirt, bagbazar is looks better without ANNFSU office.

Comment by Electra — 5/11/2005 @ 7:55 pm

Please!!! No!!!! I am also a resident of Bagbazar. That house use to be a red-light house. No wonder, it is called the rato ghar. There used to be a prostitution racket operating from inside the house. The party office was only in the afternoon. Booze, prostitutes, and drugs was all available. Since nobody was staying there at night, it was open for everything. Good that the authorities have closed it down.

Comment by Ram — 5/11/2005 @ 11:20 pm

Nepali Student union is iligimate child of the corrupt politican. They have nothing to do whit study thier interest is please their political masters. These student learn corruptin from the the Free Student Union. Do any of Free Student Union has shown they book of account? non they just loot the money from the union. These goonds from the rato ghar use to throw briks to the passer on striks on girl was nearly killed and had to be taken to Bir Hospital. Police did a good job kicking them out. Now we Nepali have to kick these bustered up to Indian to their Master there.

Comment by Raj — 5/12/2005 @ 3:31 pm

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