At least 32 Nepalese human rights activists, including nine women, were arrested on Wednesday in Kathmandu for staging anti-government protests. The protest was organised by the Human Rights and Peace Society, Nepal demanding the resignation of Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Rabindra Adhikari for his alleged involvement in wide-body aircraft purchase corruption and fulfilment of demands of agitating senior surgeon Dr Govinda KC.
According to a Parliamentary committee report, Rs. 4.5 billion loss was incurred while purchasing two airbuses for state-owned Nepal Airlines and Tourism Minister Adhikari had allegedly made a false statement on the issue in his explanation to the Parliamentary committee. Dr KC has been staging fast unto death for the past 20 days demanding sweeping reforms in the medical sector but the government last week passed a medical bill through a majority vote in the Parliament without addressing his demands.
Those arrested include senior human rights activist Krishna Pahadi, president of the society Uttam Pudasaini, and central member Gita Timilsina. They were carrying placards with the slogans 'Address demands of agitating doctor KC', 'Take action against those involved in aircraft purchase deal', 'Sack Tourism Minister Adhikari.' On Tuesday, police detained 50 members of Nepali Congress for staging a protest in front of the Prime Minister's official residence to express solidarity with Dr KC.
(With inputs from agencies.)