Nepalese student protests against increased transport fares turn violent
Students protesting a government decision to increase fares on public transport turned violent Friday with students clashing with police and attacking vehicles, reported dpa.
The demonstrations followed increases in petroleum prices, which in turn led to a rise in public transport fares.
Groups of students blocked roads in several areas of Kathmandu by putting up barricades and burning tyres.
"Police clashed with students in several locations after the student protests turn violent," the Kathmandu police office said. "The protestors smashed windscreens of at least half a dozen vehicles and set fire to a government-owned vehicle."
At least nine students were injured.
It was the third day of protests by the students who were demanding a 50-per-cent cut in fares as well as lower prices for kerosene, which is widely used for cooking.
On Thursday, the Nepalese government increases transport fares by 25 per cent, sparking widespread criticism from student bodies.
The government said the students would be able to get 40-per-cent concessions on the fares, but the student groups have rejected the offer.
"We will continue our protests until the government meets our demands," said Thakur Gaire of the All Nepal Free Students Union, which has led the protests. "The price rise has severely affected the students who can no longer afford the public transport."
The demonstrations Friday crippled public and private transport in Kathmandu, forcing people to walk.
The fares were raised after the Nepalese government last week increased oil prices by as much as 25 per cent amid growing shortages, caused mainly by the state-owned Nepal Oil Corp's inability to pay more than 2 billion rupees (29.6 million dollars) of debt to its main supplier, the Indian Oil Corp.