CHITWAN, Aug 16: Narayanghat bazaar of Chitwan district remained tense throughout the day on Thursday after police baton-charged students trying to greet Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai with black flags.
Enraged by the police´s action, the students of All Nepal National Free Student Union (ANNFSU) affiliated to the CPN- UML vandalized two mini-buses, four auto-rickshaws and one government-owned motorcycle.
Three ANNFSU students were injured in the ensuing clashes with the police. The police used seven rounds of tear-gas shells to disperse the agitators. Two students were arrested and freed later.
“Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has become an obstacle to the formation of a national consensus government. Therefore, we greeted him with black flags,” said Niraj Bhatta, one of the agitating students. “We had to retaliate after the police used force.”
PM Bhattarai, who arrived in Chitwan to meet the locals in the Chepang-dominated village of Siddi, was greeted with black flags even on Wednesday by the students affiliated to ANNFSU and Nepal Student Union (NSU). On Thursday, the students affiliated to the ANNFSU had gathered in front of Bharatpur airport to greet PM Bhattarai with black flags.
However, the police foiled the students´ attempts by baton-charging them. After being chased away by the police, the students chanted slogans against Bhattarai. Later, furious over what they termed as the use of excessive force by the police, students staged demonstrations.
The enraged students set a motorcycle (Na. 1 Ba 1900) owned by the Bharatpur Jail Administration on fire. Despite tension all throughout the day, Narayanghat returned to normalcy in the evening. However, ANNFSU and Youth Association Nepal (YAN) have called a district-wide strike in Chitwan for Friday.