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Nearly 400 pro-democracy activists arrested in Nepal

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Sept 17, IRNA
In a massive crackdown, Nepal police Friday arrested nearly 400 people, including 81 journalists, for staging demonstrations demanding restoration of democracy in the kingdom, reported the Press Trust of India (PTI).

The journalists were taken into custody while they were preparing for a peaceful demonstration at Ratnapark on way to the Royal palace.

The scribes were rallying to oppose the government's hostile attitude toward press freedom when they were prevented by the police from entering the restricted area, General Secretary of the Federation of Nepalee Journalists, Mahendra Bista, said.

"We have organized peaceful demonstrations under the third phase of protest programs to oppose the government's restrictions on press to cover the seven-party alliances' ongoing agitation for restoration of democracy," he said.

Many journalists were injured while covering the agitation last week as the police hit them with batons, he said.

Police also arrested at least 300 activists belonging to the seven-party alliance campaigning for restoration of democracy while they were organizing peaceful demonstrations at Dillibazaar and Baaghbazaar areas of the capital.

Those arrested include Nepali Congress General Secretary Shushil Koirala and central committee member Mahanta Thakur.

Half a dozen activists were injured as the police baton-charged and fired tear gas cells leading to the clash between the
demonstrators and police, which lasted for almost two hours.


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