Koirala’s NC calls shutdown over ‘police brutality’ (Lead)September 12th, 2008 - 1:35 pm ICT by IANS
Kathmandu, Sep 12 (IANS) Nepal’s Maoist-led government faced its first opposition closure Friday with former prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s Nepali Congress (NC) party calling for a shutdown of the Kathmandu valley to protest the death of a youth leader. Pradeep Khadka, a member of the main opposition party’s student union and the son of an influential NC leader, was killed Wednesday, allegedly due to police beating as the new government stepped up security measures to improve the law and order situation.
According to police, Khadka died in an accident after his motorcycle hit a checkpost.
However, locals told a private television station that Khadka was killed due to the thrashing he received from police personnel.
Security checks were reimposed this week after newly sworn-in Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Bam Dev Gautam publicly said police would use force to bring criminals under control.
Under Gautam’s orders, police have also begun raiding the capital’s notorious massage parlours, dance bars and cabin restaurants where prostitution thrives, and ordered all restaurants to close at 11 p.m.
The young wing and students’ union of the opposition party began taking out protest rallies in the capital Friday and blocking main roads by burning tyres.
Protesters also clamped a shutdown in Udaypur district in eastern Nepal.
An indefinite closure was also called by the public in Bhojpur district in eastern Nepal to protest the assault on a person by members of another ruling party, the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist.
The protests came even as human rights watchdogs Advocacy Forum and Human Rights Watch released a repor, documenting 62 cases of extrajudicial killings, mostly by security forces, and urged the Maoist government to bring the perpetrators to justice and end the prevailing culture of impunity.