Protesters clash with police in Biratnagar

Biratnagar, Mar. 29: About a dozen police and three dozen demonstrators were injured in a clash that erupted at Roadshesh Chowk in Biratnagar on Tuesday.

In the clash, 14 police personnel were injured, six of them seriously, while eight demonstrators sustained serious injuries.

A group of people have been demonstrating in Biratnagar, the capital of Koshi Province, against the naming of the province for the past few days. 

According to police, the demonstrators turned violent when police tried to prevent them from picketing a programme where the   Province Assembly members and others were participating. 

According to police, Suraj Rai of Gramthan Morang, Ashok Rai, Shiva Angdambe, Gyan Prakash Rai, A K Darnal, Bishal Rai and Uday Limbu of Dharan, and Padam Kerung of Itahari were injured in the clash.

When the demonstrators tried to cross the police cordon and pelted stones at them, police used water cannons and fired 29 rounds of bullets in the air and 44 rounds of tear gas to disperse the crowd, said Superintendent of Morang Police Deepak Pokharel. The clash site is close to the premises of the Office of the Chief Minister and Council of Ministries of Koshi.

“After the protestors started pelting stones, we had to retaliate with water cannons and tear gas, we even had to fire in the air,” said SP  Pokhrel. 

Protestors had reached Roadshesh Chowk to put pressure on provincial assembly members and government officials arriving at Big Hotel to attend a workshop on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

On March 1, the provincial assembly had named Province 1 as “Koshi Province”. Since then, a section of residents have been staging protests demanding to rename the province.

On March 19, Padam Limbu, a protestor, was injured during the clash with police, and died on March 24.

The protesters have also expressed dissatisfaction with the probe committee formed to investigate Limbu’s death citing that the members were named unilaterally.

Meanwhile, individuals against the name “Koshi” for the province also beat Chintamani Poudel, ward chairman of Ward No. 6 of Urlabari Municipality in Morang, on Tuesday.

Protestors, who had reached the ward office for padlocking, beat Poudel, who sustained normal injuries.

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