Sarada Bhattarai could not sleep all night on Friday. For the past one year, he has been burning his scooter in front of his office.
Sarada, who has been in government service for the past eight years, has been working as the education officer of Tilotta municipality since July last year. Sarada, who had been busy with municipal work all day on Friday, had gone to Butwal for office work at around 2-3 o’clock.
In Tilotta, the municipality is preparing a city curriculum for schools. Sarada, who is an education officer, was returning home in the evening after completing the textbook adjustment work from the printing press.
The protest had started in the afternoon after the state government submitted a proposal to make Dang the permanent capital of five states on Friday morning.
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The Nepal Students Union, a sister organization of the main opposition party Nepali Congress, was protesting by burning tires at various places.
Meanwhile, four government vehicles carrying officials of the ministries and various committees were vandalized.
Sarada was also on a government scooter (Lu 1 B 2470) in the name of the municipality in Tilotta. She was coming through the inner road Devinagar thinking that the agitating group might obstruct her while returning from the main highway.
The tires were burnt on the road near Horizon Chowk. Some time ago, a group of 12-25 people was protesting.
Sharda, who was coming on her own, was stopped by a member of the group in front of the scooter. Coincidentally, Sharda knew the person who stopped the scooter. She thought that someone she knew would not harm her.
‘Don’t stop me on the street,’ she persuaded.
“I thought he would leave after the introduction, but the situation was reversed,” she said.
After getting off the scooter and looking back, the agitating group was driving the scooter and putting it on the burning tire. She clasped her hands and asked to take out her bag and mobile from the trunk of the scooter, but no one was there to listen to her request.
The day was getting dark. She cried and shouted in the street, urging him to take out his important documents, mobile phone and even cash. “There was a bag, a license, a bank ATM, some cash in the scooter’s deck along with my mobile phone. I also kept my son’s clothes in the deck.” Apparently, everything was burnt to ashes, ‘she said.
Along with the agitating group on the road, a large crowd of people had gathered to watch Ramita on a scooter. She complained that some of the same crowd did not give her mobile phone to inform the municipality about the incident.
“People will lose their humanity when they are in trouble. I tried to call 10-12 people asking for mobile phones but no one gave them. No one has balance and no one is charged. A woman gave me a mobile phone and I was able to inform the municipality,” she said.
She said the incident on Friday evening was still shocking. “Since the incident took place on Friday evening and I am on leave today, I stayed at home. I am afraid of going to the office tomorrow,” she said.
He said that while the agitating group was burning their scooters, other government vehicles were allowed to pass without any obstruction and even abused themselves. “Not only have government and private property been burned, but the group has abused me on the streets,” she said.
Chief of Tilotta Municipality Basudev Ghimire has expressed sorrow over the incident of damage to public property and personal property of the employees.