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Nepalese students detained in protest over festival shooting

Communist rebels announce plans for more disruptions

Nepalese students detained in protest over festival shooting

Police detained dozens of students in the Nepalese capital yesterday as protests continued over the killing of 11 civilians by a soldier last week, student groups said.

Students blocked roads with burning tyres outside campuses, and threw stones and bricks at security personnel, according to eyewitnesses.

"The police and students clashed at several campuses in Kathmandu, between 50 and 60 were arrested," said Tek Raj Paudel, the general secretary of the Nepal Students Union.

The students stopped traffic in various part of the capital for around 30 minutes in the morning, Paudel said.

"Over 20 canisters of tear gas were fired as the police tried to unblock the road," said Tek Raj Pachhai, from the Free Students Union from Ascol College in the center of the city.

Around nine campuses held demonstrations, according to student sources, but most had stopped by noon yesterday.

Police said there had been a few clashes with students at several campuses. Stones and parts of bricks were thrown at police said the police officer who declined to be named.

There were no injuries or arrests, the police said.

Usually when students are detained during protests, they are released later the same day without formal charges being filed.

A larger protest is planned for December 25, to continue the outcry against the massacre last Wednesday.

A soldier from the Royal Nepalese Army went on the rampage at a Hindu festival in a small town on the outskirts of Kathmandu and then apparently killed himself.

On Friday the seven main opposition parties called a general strike, bringing the capital to a standstill.

Scheduled protest

Communist rebels in Nepal plan to disrupt nationwide municipal elections scheduled for early next year, the leader of the rebels' student wing said.

"We will not allow the municipal elections to take place at any cost," Lekhnath Newpane told a handful of reporters Sunday at a village about 80 kilometers southeast of the capital, Katmandu.

"We will track down those who file for candidacy in the election and make sure they withdraw their names," he said, adding that the rebels also wouldn't allow the government to use schools and colleges as polling stations.

Newpane, who heads the All Nepal National Independent Student Union Revolutionary, refused to say what means the group would use to disrupt the February 8 election in 58 cities and towns across this Himalayan kingdom.

Nepal hasn't held municipal elections since 1998 because the previous poll, scheduled for 2003, could not be held because of rebel violence.

Newpane has been in hiding since the Maoist rebels, who claim to be inspired by Chinese revolutionary Mao Zedong, began fighting in 1996 to replace the constitutional monarchy with a socialist state. The insurgency has claimed about 12,000 lives.

Updated : 2021-07-30 02:48 GMT+08:00