Jul 1, 2018-Defying government’s recent decision to ban holding protest activities at the Maitighar Mandala has continued as the Bibeksheel Sajha Party (BSP) organised a protest, demanding that the government withdraw its decision.
A total of 10 BSP members were arrested on Saturday after they staged their protest programme at the ‘no protest zone’.
BSP Coordinator Ujwal Thapa, central committee member Shashi Bikram Karki, among others, were arrested and detained at the Singha Durbar Police Circle. They were later released.
BSP Spokesperson Ramesh Paudyal said the government’s decision to make Maitighar Mandala—which has been widely used by political parties, civil society and public to pressure the government for its wrong activities—the no protest zone has curtailed people’s fundamental right to assemble and freedom of expression.
“We will go to the District Administration Office (DAO) Kathmandu and the Home Ministry to ask them the motive behind the arrests of our friends even before the decision has come into force,” said Paudyal, adding that the party would continue with similar activities until the government withdraws the decision.
However, reaffirming Kathmandu DAO’s April 15 decision—making Maitighar Mandala the ‘no protest zone’, Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa on Friday said the decision will come into force from July 15.
Minister Thapa told a press conference that it did not curtail the people’s right to peaceful assembly because the Kathmandu District Security Committee had designated seven places where people are free to stage protests and rallies without any hindrances.
On April 15, the District Administration Office Kathmandu had declared Maitighar Mandala as a protest exclusion zone. Under the new rule in line with the directive issued by the Home Ministry, people can now only hold protest assemblies at Khullamanch, Tinkune, Bhuinkhel Chaur, Bagwanpau, Pepsicola Ground, Sano Gaucharan Ground and Lainchaur and Siphal Chaur.