Update: Today, a group of NSU affiliated students thrashed another group of ANNISU affilated students in Saraswati Campus.
The Maoist affiliated All Nepal National Independent Student Union (ANNISU) beat up Nepali Congress affiliated NSU students in a college in Kathmandu
Santosh Dahal, president of NSU Thapathali Campus Unit, undergoes treatment in Kathmandu Model Hospital after he was attacked by ANNIFSU (R) students. He gained consciousness after five hours. His younger brohter Jagdish (on cell phone) and sister Nanu Nepal. All pics by Suraj Kunwar
By Suraj Kunwar
[More photos inside]
It was a day of clash between two of the biggest ‘gangs’ err student organizations in Kathmandu. The battleground? A college, of course. Arrogant boys from the Maoist affiliated All Nepal National Independent Student Union Revolutionary (ANNISU-R) came to Thapathali Engineering Campus [on Monday, 13 Aug] to beat up, one by one, the students affiliated with Nepali Congress sister organization Nepal Students’ Union (NSU). At least six students were injured, three of them seriously and are undergoing treatment at Kathmandu Model Hospital.
This all happened in the morning, at around 8:30, when the Maoist students swarmed into the classrooms and hostel rooms with sticks and rods, according to information provided by the NSU. Campus Chief Dhana Prasad Poudel and Free Students’ Union president Sudip Sharma, a member of NSU, were injured.
A week ago, the Free Student Union, the elected governing body of the students in a college that’s dominated by the NSU, had confiscated toy SMG revolvers and 20 pieces of iron rods. The Maoist students said that the confiscation was a result of an unwarranted raid by the FSU/NSU. A group led by Dilip Tamang of ANNISU-R had gone to the campus premise with iron rods, cricket bats and other similar equipments. The Maoist students had assembled the toy arms to display in their cultural welcome programs organized in last December. The college administration has closed down the institute for indefinite period citing the clash.
NSU retaliated by sending a group to vandalize the offices of ANNISU-R, a report that’s denied by the NSU. NSU demonstrated on the streets against the attack which affected the traffic for several hours. Students burnt tires in front of all the campuses in the capital.
Meanwhile, the police have detained four students under suspicion of being involved in the incident.
These campus fighting come at a time when these student organizations’ mother parties, coalition partners in the government, are going through the low point of their relationship. A Maoist cabinet minister, Matrika Yadav, resigned from the forest portfolio saying that the Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala of Nepali Congress Party wasn’t running the government as per the coalition culture. Maoist also seems to be confused about the prospects of CA election, the main task of the current government, that’s scheduled for November. The former rebels have renewed their threat of leaving the cabinet and go for, what they call, revolt go ensure the CA election.
Many in the civil society want the Maoists to be tolerant towards the opposition and maintain harmonious relationship with all parties in the ruling alliance. Contrary to such expectations, Maoists are continuing harassments, intimidation and thrashing of government employees and political activists who refuse to act by their rules.