Several people were injured when protestors clashed with Nepal police as thousands of activists held demonstration outside the parliament in Kathmandu in support of a veteran medical activist, fasting for nearly a month, demanding reforms in the country’s medical sector.
Police fired multiple rounds of teargas shells and resorted to baton charge after the protestors raising anti-government slogans tried to enter the restricted area near the Parliament building at Nayabeneshwor.
Dr Govinda KC, 61, has been fasting since June 30 seeking reforms in the medical sector including not allowing permission to open new medical colleges in Kathmandu and withdrawing a medical bill the government is planning to table in the Parliament, saying it was against the welfare of the poor people.
Some agitators also threw stones at a parked vehicle of a minister. In the clash over a dozen protestors were injured, officials said.
Several eminent figures including former Chief Justice Sushila Karki, human rights activist Krishna Pahadi and Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala participated in the rally organised by Solidarity for Dr KC Alliance.
Various groups including Tarun Dal, the youth organisation belonging to main opposition Nepali Congress, also participated in the protest against the government for allegedly ignoring the doctor’s demands as his fast-unto-death entered the 22nd day today.
The fasting doctor has been fighting for reforms in the medical sector of Nepal so that the benefit of healthcare can also reach poor people in remote areas.
He was airlifted to Kathmandu from Jumla few days ago while he continued fasting in a medical college and the government admitted him to the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu, where he is still continuing his fast.