Bharatpur declared ‘prohibited zone’ amidst fears of clash between supporters of Rabi Lamichhane and Shalikram Pudasaini

  • August 19, 2019

Protesters gather in Chitwan. Image: Chyangba Gurung/Facebook

District Administration Office of Chitwan district has declared Bharatpur town area a prohibited zone. Police will be monitoring the city, and not allow large groups to either gather, or hold demonstrations. The DAO’s decision to prohibit demonstrations was arrived upon to prevent disruption of official work and ‘unnecessary incidences of violence in the city’.

Police has had to remain extra vigilant in the city – yesterday, supporters of journalist Rabi Lamichhane and supporters of deceased journalist Shalikram Pudasaini organised demonstrations in the city – police are worried of potential clashed between the two groups.

Police have also said the ongoing protests are disrupting daily administrative works. Enforcing the ‘prohibition’, police have said any one breaching the notice will be held liable as per the law.

The situation in Bharatpur has become tense since 15th August, after Rabi Lamichhane along with fellow journalist Yuvaraj Kandel and nurse Asmita Karki were taken into custody following accusations by ex-colleague, now deceased journalist Shalikram Pudasaini. In a video message allegedly taken before committing suicide, the journalist is seen accusing the trio of pushing him towards making the decision.

Protests have erupted since – Rabi Lamichhane supporters demanding an immediate release and a fair investigation, Pudasaini supporters also calling for a fair proceeding.