Police baton charge football fans at Dashrath Stadium for protesting a lack of ticketsThe police’s actions were widely criticised on social media after footage emerged of officials aiming kicks and batons at protestors.
Police on Tuesday baton-charged fans gathered in front of the Dashrath Stadium to watch the South Asian Games football final between Nepal and Bhutan. Police intervened when fans were jostling for tickets, which were said to have been sold out.
On Tuesday, the final day of the 13th South Asian Games, Dashrath Stadium was filled with thousands of football fans, with many more outside waiting for tickets. A scuffle began after fans began to protest the lack of tickets.
“Youths were trying to hold demonstrations after failing to get tickets,” said Senior Superintendent Uttam Raj Subedi, chief of the Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range. “Police had to intervene to bring the situation under control.”
The police’s actions have been widely criticised on social media, especially since video and photos emerged of police aiming kicks and batons towards people who posed no threat.
Police also beat up Suman Chapagain, a journalist for Nagarik daily, for trying to take the pictures of the melee between the fans and security personnel.
Nagarik editor Guna Raj Luitel posted a picture of Chapagain at the hospital, writing: “Our colleague #SumanChhapagain has been thrashed today by Nepal Police official at #DasharathStadium while he was there to cover #13thSAG[sic].”
Nepal are playing Bhutan in the men’s football finals at the 13th South Asian Games.