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Balaju locals stage protest against road expansion

Locals of Balaju stage a protest against the Balaju-Bypass road expansion, in Kathmandu, on Wednesday, August 5, 2020.

Kathmandu, August 5

Some locals of Balaju in Kathmandu have staged a demonstration in front of the local police post on Tuesday protesting the demolition of their houses for the expansion of the local Balaju-Bypass road.

The protesters claim an interim order issued by the Supreme Court has barred the government from demolishing residential houses without managing alternatives and providing them proper compensation. The locals say the government, however, bulldozed the area without a notice in advance on the day of Gai Jatra, a major festival of the city, on Tuesday.

“The court has ordered against the demolition. When we ask the police why they destroyed our house, they say they received an order from superior authorities,” one of the protestors, Bhim Dev Shrestha, says, “Whose government is this that orders for the destruction of people’s houses in this monsoon?”

According to him, the police detained 10 locals on Tuesday for resisting the demolition and kept them in custody overnight.

“We demanded the implementation of the court order, but they beat us,” says another local, Rabindra Kumar Shrestha.

The police, however, have said they just provided security to the expansion workers after being asked by the government.

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