Poudel inaugurates bridge in Tanahun, a day after he was denied by authoritiesCongress activists took out protest rallies in several places on Thursday condemning Poudel’s detention.
Senior Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Poudel on Thursday inaugurated the bridge that he was meant to a day earlier but was detained by police on charge of violating the prohibitory orders enforced by the authorities.
While Poudel’s detention stoked protests by his party cadres in Tanahun and other parts of the country on Thursday, he did attend the inauguration of the bridge linking Talghare and Dumsi over Buldi stream.
Poudel reached the bridge site with hundreds of party supporters and locals, and this time he was not obstructed by the local authorities, the Nepali Congress district committee said.
Police on Wednesday detained Poudel from Byas Municipality for violating the prohibitory orders enforced by the district administration office.
The prohibitory orders were put in place following a dispute between the members of the Nepali Congress and the Youth Association Nepal, the youth wing of the ruling Nepal Communist Party, over the inauguration of the bridge.
The bridge construction consumers' committee and the local government had invited Poudel to inaugurate the bridge. The Nepal Communist Party, however, wanted the inauguration to take place from the hands of Krishna Kumar Shrestha, who had defeated Poudel in the 2017 elections.
Addressing the inauguration event, Poudel said that the local administration’s move to impose the prohibitory orders to stop him from inaugurating the bridge was an attack on democracy.
“Democracy is not safe in the hands of the Communist. Yesterday’s incident has justified that,” he said.
Nepali Congress central leaders Shankar Bhandari, Gobinda Bhattarai and Pradip Poudel also addressed the event.
They all demanded actions against the leaders, employees and security personnel involved in Wednesday’s incident.
Poudel’s arrest sparked protests in various places in the country on Thursday. Nepal Tarun Dal, the youth wing of Nepali Congress, staged demonstrations in Pokhara to denounce the government’s move to detain Poudel. Protests also took place in Syangja, Gorkha, Nawalparasi (East), and Mugu.