Students from around Kathmandu were forcefully taken to surround the army headquarters by the Maoists student organization. A wrong way of protest in wrong times at wrong venue. All pics by Shailendra Kharel
The photo above reminds me of that day when thousands of school students were forcefully lined up on the sides of the road leading up to the royal palace from Kathmandu international airport to welcome king Gyanendra who was returning back from his infamous African safari. Two days ago, students from Kathmandu were forcefully collected in similar manner by the Maoist affiliated student organization to surround the Nepali Army headquarters. Reason for the latest action is that the student organization wanted to pressurize the army to disclose the whereabouts of the disappeared Nepali people. Yes, that should be disclosed, no question. But the way the protest program was organized was inappropriate and the timing was bad move and the venue was not suitable at all. “What if victims of Maoists atrocities go and surround [places like Kamidanda in Kavre] where Maoist soldiers are kept,” asks an editorial in today’s Kantipur that condemns the protest.
These are times when the country is involved in peace process and both state and Maoists have signed a 25-point code of conduct. The demonstration wasn’t organized by any organizations affiliated with any of the seven parties but by the Maoists themselves in the form of students. Isn’t it a contradiction? On the one hand, you are on the table of peace talks and on the other hand you try to instigate soldiers by shouting words like ‘rapist’ and ‘killer’ outside their barrack. The best thing about the day before yesterday’s ghearo program was that the army behaved very responsibly. The responsibility of providing security to the Army headquarter was given to the police and soldiers confined themselves inside the barrack. Who would have taken the responsibility had any individual soldier, pissed off with the remarks students outside were passing at them, come out of the building and opened fired at protestors? Everybody should behave responsibly in these times. There is no point instigating people on any pretext. Maoist’s student organization must take note of this. -DW