SCHOOL SHUTDOWN: Cops rain lathis,talks under cloud

Agitating teachers who were staging a sit-in in front of the Ministry of Education and Sports today clashed with the police, jeopardising the talks between the representatives of the protesting unions and the authorities scheduled for tomorrow.
More than 80 persons were injured in police lathicharge on the demonstrators who were trying to burn the effigy of Minister for Education and Sports Pradip Nepal. The police even had to fire at least 18 teargas shells at Keshar Mahal chowk and Ratnapark to disperse the protesters. The police said they had to act after the agitators mercilessly beat up a man saying he was a vigilante. “When we tried to rescue the man, they pelted stones at us,” a police official said.
After the incident the agitating Nepal Educational Republican Forum, Institutional School Teachers Union and the student unions organised a chakka jam from 3 pm to 5 pm in Chabahil, Gyaneshwor, Koteshwor, Bhotahity, Maharajgunj, Teku, Satdobato and Ekantakuna. It took two more hours before the smooth flow of traffic was restored.
Umesh Shrestha, president of PABSON, said the incident could affect the dialogue scheduled for tomorrow. However, NERF president Gunaraj Lohani said, “The education minister should apologise for police action.” He said the ministry should meet the treatment expenses of those injured.
Meanwhile, State Minister for Education and Sports Mohan Singh Rathore said the incident should not hamper the dialogue.

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