Taxi driver attacked by banda enforcers in critical condition
KATHMANDU, Feb 19: Bire Tamang, who earns his living by driving taxi in Kathmandu, was taking an elderly man suffering from asthma to Bir Hospital on Tuesday morning. Bire could not take the patient to the hospital, though. Instead, he was himself rushed to the hospital.
He was attacked at Naya Bazaar, Kathmandu by the supporters of CPN-Maoist, according to the police, with bricks and stones for defying the Tuesday´s strike called by their party.
By the time he was taken to the hospital, Bire had lost consciousness. He had yet to regain his consciousness till Tuesday night.
Originally from Saramthali VDC-4 in Rasuwa district, Bire mostly drove taxi in the night. He was returning to his rented room in Machhapokhari early in the morning when he was asked to carry a patient to Bir Hospital. Bire took in the patient and was on his way to the hospital, but when they reached Naya Bazaaar the strike enforcers suddenly began pelting stones at his taxi.
"We´ve spent Rs 17,000 so far," said Dalle Tamang, Bire´s older brother. "Yet, my brother has not regained his consciousness."
Bire had to undergo a neurosurgery at the hospital Tuesday night.
According to the police, Bire was attacked by the strike enforcers after he accidentally hit a pedestrian even as he was already “defying the banda.”
However, Dalle denies it. He said, "My brother lost control of the taxi only after being hit. The bricks were still lying there when I reached the spot."
Bire has been shifted to the ICU ward of the hospital. Doctors involved in his treatment say that his condition is very critical.
Bire had come to Kathmandu, leaving behind his wife and two children in the village, to earn money to support the family.
Barring a few cases of violence, including the attack on Tamang, the Tuesday´s strike called by the CPN-Maoist was peaceful.
The CPN-Maoist called the banda against the understanding reached among political parties to appoint Chief Justice Khila Raj Regmi as prime minister and to put pressure on the government not to open investigation into conflict-era cases.
The banda enforcers also vandalized a van belonging to Sagarmatha Television at New Baneshwar and another van belonging to Kantipur Publications at Bijuli Bazaar.
According to DSP Chakra Bahadur Singh, spokesperson for the Metropolitan Range Police Office, Hanumandhoka, eight cadres of the UCPN (Maoist) were detained by the police for ransacking vehicles and shops in the valley. They were freed by Tuesday evening.
Very few vehicles belonging to either media or hospitals were seen on the Valley road on Tuesday.