As the general strike enters the 19th day, protesters seemed a bit tired which is why there was less participation today. But, the spirit is still high and we can say that they are preparing for tomorrow’s final protests.
By Deepak Adhikari and Sarojraj Adhikari
Banasthali Burning Pics by Rajaram Gautam
Some 30 to 40 protesters were burning effigy of king. In Buddhanagar, protesters have continued to protest since yesterday’s police brutality.
Around one thousand five hundred protesters chanted slogans. They however, stayed one hundred meters away from the chowk. When army’s spy plane was flying, protesters whistled at it. A protester told that today’s mass dwindled because of tomorrow’s big event. Protesters were warning the king not to flee from the country.
A big log was burning as we reached Banasthali. Protesters told us that the clash was going on since 9am. Security forces were almost non-existent there. Protesters had created a barrier of wires. A pillar lied in the middle of the road.
Around five thousand protesters gathered in the curfew area. Police fired three dozen tear gas shells. After a while, they also fired rubber bullets at the residents. Around 12 protesters and policemen are injured. Protesters chased the police and vice versa. Army’s spy plane was making round. Security personnel were retaliating. Police also pelted stones at protesters. This clash continued for an hour. You can see a hoarding board in Basundhara that reads: Welcome to Republican Nepal. The area from Basundhara chowk to Sitapaila is captured by protesters. It looked like a battlefield. I was also chased away by the policemen.
This place has made a history in ongoing movement. I along with my colleagues was here on that infamous Tuesday. Protesters were shouting slogans, were making chains, the milieu was a bit tense. They were waving flags as the security forces prevented them from entering Samakhusi area.
Royal Palace/Ratnapark, 2:10
The palace area looked calm. A big Armored Patrol Car (APC) and a ferret car were kept just outside the western gate of the palace. We were subjected to check only at Ratnapark. Henceforth, they checked our vehicle three times. Today, we saw massive mobilization of army.
Security forces disrupted a peaceful gathering. When NC (D) leader Pradip Giri addressed the meet, police backed by army made the announcement of curfew. Army was provoking the police force. Then, the mass was dispersed. Security forces have blocked the protesters in every corner of Lalitpur.
Prof Khanal addressing the mass in Kirtipur
Protesters were making round of Kirtipur that ended in a huge mass meet. Prof Krishna Khanal addressed the mass meet. He said: “Nepali kingdom is turning into a people’s nation.” He said that king could no longer fool people with his address. UML leader Bamdev Gautam and NC (D) leader NP Saud also addressed the mass of around 10 thousand.
With contributions from Bhojraj Bhat