Protesting Fuel Price Hike: Mobs on the Streets

Nepalis are the experienced lot when it comes to organizing the protest programs (which includes, in almost all cases, burning tires and halting traffic on the streets). As they say, if you want to do something well, you should enjoy the work. Nepalis enjoy while protesting. Take, for example, today’s protest against the government’s decision yesterday to hike the price of the fuel (diesel and cooking gas that is also used by some vehicles). The anarchy has ruled the street as I am typing these lines. Uncontrolled mobs are burning tires in the middle of the streets and, and, having fun! It’s cold out there because it’s winter and the sky is cloudy. The tire-fire is working as campfire for them. People are enjoying the heat, smiling and occasionally booing as some helpless cars or motorbikes come by. The traffic is at complete halt but few taxis and bikes, carrying sick people and disabled, could be seen. These vehicles immediately come under the scrutiny of the crowd (enjoying the fire) and windows of some get smashed while driver tries to convince the crowd why he was there.

While coming from Koteshwor to Tinkine (about 300 meters distance), I saw about 10 spots where tires were burning and, at least in three places, thick smokes were coming.

The situation in the country at this time is very fluid. The ruling alliance of the seven parties have started the election campaign last week that saw a bomb blasted near the mass meeting venue in Kathmandu. Royalists are sure to sabotage any weak showing by the government while some groups in the southern plains (Terai or Madhes) are threatening to against the national integrity. Perhaps under the indirect guidance of the foreign force, they are slowing coming on the same forum to work against the government and, if we are to believe a leader of the group, against the national integrity.