HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The general public bore the brunt of unprecedented security that was enforced this afternoon, hours before Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s arrival from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in view of potential protests.
Though Prime Minister Bhattarai’s arrival was slated for 2:30 pm today, security was beefed up along the TIA-Tinkune-Baneshwor-Singha Durbar-Putalisadak-Baluwatar route in advance, throwing city traffic into massive gridlock, the effect of which lingered till 4pm.
DSP Dhiraj Pratap Singh said roads had to be cleared in advance, three hours prior to the prime minister’s arrival, to avert a repeat of protests like last week in which demonstrators had pelted stones at German envoy’s car and shown black flags to the prime minister. On June 18, sister wings of opposition parties had greeted Prime Minister Bhattarai with black flags in front of the airport while he was leaving for Rio de Janeiro to attend the UN Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20. Singh said 1,200 Nepal Police personnel and 600 Armed Police Force personnel were deployed for the prime minister’s security.
As many as 25 agitating students were detained from airport gate today. They were released in the evening.
The Nepali Congress later in the evening took serious exception to state’s intimidation and condemned the government bid to curb general public’s constitutional right to protest. An NC statement said the government tried to muffle general public’s voice and it was ‘against the rule of law’.