HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Tension flared up at Hile Danda in Sankhu of Bajragyogini today after a violent clash ensued between riot police and local people protesting the construction of a Buddhist monastery in the area.
A dozen riot cops and demonstrators were injured in the clash as riot police used force against the agitating locals to ‘bring the situation under control’.
According to a police official, four cops were critically injured and are undergoing treatment at KMC Hospital. Of them, police personnel Pushkar BK and Dhan Bahadur Thapa suffered injuries in the eyes whereas Achyut Pandit and Dhan Bahadur Thapa received cuts on the lip when demonstrators stoned them from the roofs of their houses.
Pandit and Thapa have received two-inch long stitch each on the lip, informed the official over phone.
A medical team of Nepal Police Hospital was sent to the site to provide first-aid treatment to the injured. According to the official, the clash erupted when riot police used ‘moderate force’ to disperse demonstrators trying to block the Chabahil-Sankhu road section to protest the construction of the monastery.
Riot police had resorted to lathicharge and more than 27 shells of teargas were fired. Some demonstrators were also injured. Irate locals torched two motorcycles (Ba 43 Pa 5944, Ba 46 Pa 5109) parked outside the construction site.
Local residents had been protesting the construction of the monastery by Finchuk Gurung, a Buddhist monk, on his private land adjacent to the water source that supplies water to hundreds of people in the area, saying it would cause the water source to dry up. Officials said irate locals had set construction materials of the monastery on fire yesterday. Property worth over seven lakh rupees was gutted.
More than 300 cops, including Armed Police Force, have been deployed in Sankhu. The official informed that police officials, and representatives of agitating local people and monastery construction committee had held talks to find an amicable solution to the crisis later in the day.