Several people were injured when stone-pelting protesters clashed with Nepal police as thousands of activists held a demonstration outside the parliament in support of a medical activist, fasting for nearly a month, demanding reforms in the country’s medical sector.
Police fired multiple rounds of teargas shells and resorted to baton charge in Baneshwar area of Kathmandu, injuring over a dozen people including Jitjung Basnet, head of the youth wing of the main opposition Nepali Congress, and Madan Amatya, an MP. Police said it was forced to use force after the demonstrators pelted stones and blocked traffic on the road.
Dr Govinda KC, 61, has been fasting for 22 days seeking reforms in the medical sector so that the benefit of healthcare can also reach poor people in remote areas. At the same time the protesters clashed with police, a peaceful demonstration under the ‘Solidarity for Dr KC’ banner, was being held in the capital. Several eminent figures including former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, former Chief Justice Sushila Karki, actress Manisha Koirala and activist Krishna Pahad participated in the rally.
“I am here to pay my respect to Dr K C, who has adopted a Gandhian way of raising a public interest issue, and appeal the government to seek a settlement with him,” said Koirala.