Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Over 200 protesters held

from nepalnews website

At least two hundred political leaders and workers were detained across the country Tuesday while taking part in the peaceful demonstrations launched jointly by a group of five opposition parties.

According to reports, over 130 political activists including former lawmaker, Anand Dhungana, were detained in the southern town of Janakpur while taking part in a peaceful demonstration. Police also detained Ashish Sarraf ‘Nikki,’ a photo-journalist, who was taking pictures of the demonstration, reports said.

In Kathmandu, nearly two dozen activists including CPN (UML) leader Ms Bidya Bhandari, Nepali Congress (Democratic) leaders and former ministers Tek Bahadur Chokhyal, Mrs Bhim Kumari Budha Magar and former lawmaker Krishna Kishore Sharma Ghimire were arrested by police while demonstrating in Ason-Bhotahity area Tuesday afternoon.

The demonstrators also chanted slogan against the royal move of February 1 and demanded restoration of democratic rights in the country. Half of those detained in Kathmandu were women activists including pro-Jana Morcha Nepal activist Ganga Belbase.

Women’s wings of major political parties had taken a lead in Tuesday’s demonstrations that coincided with the International Women’s Day.

Reports from Chitwan said local administration detained at least 28 activists out of which 17 were released later. In western district of Kaski, police detained some two dozen activists while trying to take part in peaceful demonstrations. A human rights activist, monitoring the demonstration, was also injured in baton-charging by police, reports said.

In neighbouring Tanahun district, at least three dozen local political workers affiliated to opposition parties were arrested. There have been reports of demonstrations in eastern districts of Morang, Jhapa, Dhankuta, mid-western district of Banke and far-western district of Kanchanpur by political activists affiliated to five opposition parties.

Authorities have not said anything publicly as yet regarding the latest nationwide arrests

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