Dozens injured as Simara protest continues

The locals of Simara, agitated over the government backing out of a plan to set up some important offices in their town, continued with a strike and other protests on Monday also and clashed with police once again.

The protesters have shut down the business district and schools and colleges. The clash ensued when police tried to intervene against the obstruction of transportation on Tribhuvan Highway, according to Resham Tiwari, chairman of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Simara.

Over two dozen agitating locals were injured, and police took more than three dozen demonstrators under control, according to DSP Rabindra Regmi. “As many as 10 policemen have also been injured seriously while many others sustained minor injuries,” said Regmi. The locals of Simara have been protesting following the withdrawlal of a government decision to set up service centers in their town of the Kalaiya-based District Land Revenue Office (DLRO) and District Survey Office (DSO).

“The closure of dozens of factories, bazaars and educational and financial institutes, among other things, has meant losses amounting to millions of rupees,” said Tiwari. Some 1,000 security personnel, including Nepal Police and Armed Police Force, have been deployed. Protestors have criticized the police for using excessive force to bring the situation under control.

Similarly, police have also been accused of breaking into the studio of Radio Nagrik Simara and vandalizing furniture and equipment. “A colleague and I were in the studio when we heard somebody knock on the door. I opened it and let the Armed Police in, thinking it was just a police check. But they used their batons on us and started vandalizing the studio,” said Basanta Sharma, executive director of the studio. Last week, the government revoked its decision to set up local service centers of the DLRO and DSO in Simara following strong protests from locals in Kalaiya, Bara district headquarters. The revocation of the decision has now infuriated Simara locals.

Source: Republica