Kathmandu Protest: A Relatively Peaceful Protest, Yet Not Without Some Disruptions
The demonstrations witnessed in Kathmandu on November 23 were largely peaceful, as reported by INSEC. Underlining the coordinated efforts of security management and the restraint displayed by both security personnel and demonstrators, the protest maintained an overall peaceful atmosphere.
Dr. Kundan Aryal, Chairperson of INSEC, released a statement on the evening of November 22, lauding the collaborative contributions of all involved parties in ensuring the peaceful nature of the demonstration.
Following the monitoring of the protest held in Kathmandu on November 23 by National Youth Association-Nepal activists and supporters of the ‘Save Nation, Nationality, Religion, Culture, and Citizen Campaign-Nepal’ (Durga Prasai supporters), INSEC stated that their demonstration was generally peaceful.
The monitoring team, led by Dr. Kundan Aryal, closely observed the events in the Balkhu and Tinkune areas. Comprising key members including Information Officer Krishna Gautam, Chief of Human Rights Documentation and Dissemination Department Madan Paudel, Editor of INSEC Online Ramesh Prasad Timalsina, and Kathmandu representative of INSEC Bimal Paudel, the team provided an insightful assessment.
Facts found during monitoring:
- The initial gathering of protestors at Tinkune, Balkhu, and other locations occurred just after 11 AM, rather than the scheduled 10 AM.
- Rigorous security measures were evident, with a significant deployment of police personnel and barricades in Tinkune, Koteshwar, Balkhu, Kalanki, and surrounding areas
- Despite an initial exchange of stone-pelting between opposing sides upon the arrival of Youth Association workers in Balkhu, subsequent incidents remained minimal.
- Transportation from Kalanki to Kalimati and Sanepa, passing through Balkhu, was halted.
- When a substantial group of Durga Prasai protestors attempted to enter Kalimati from Balkhu, the police dispersed them by firing water cannons and firing five rounds of tear gas. Chattan Thapa, Kamal Shahi, Lokraj Joshi, Shambhu Thapa, Prakash Thapa, Prabhu Sharma, Bishwa Hamal, Urmila Tamang, Bikram Chhetri, and Bharat Prasad Pathak sustained injuries when the police intervened during the clash, which ensued after Durga Prasai’s speech when protesters attempted to breach the police cordon. The injured are being treated at the Bayodha Hospital in Balkhu.Similarly, SP Kumod Dhungel, Spokesperson of District Police Complex Kathmandu informed that Nepal Police personnel were also injured in the clash.
- A group associated with Durga Prasai was observed distributing red t-shirts to protestors adorned with ‘RTF’ and a crown emblem on the chest. Meanwhile, participants in the Youth Association demonstration were predominantly identified by caps featuring the organization’s logo and name.
- Both group of protestors prominently featured the flag of Nepal.
Dr. Kundan Aryal
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