Kathmandu: Six people, including a senior police officer, were injured in a clash between protesting Chinese citizens and Nepal Police in Kathmandu on Friday.
Over 400 Chinese nationals are stranded in Nepal owing to the lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19. Most of the protesters are students who had come to Nepal for vacation. Earlier, Chinese ambassador to Nepal, Hou Yanqi, had urged them to stay safe and follow physical distancing, avoiding a response to their request of arranging for them to go back to China.
Upon failing to elicit an assurance from their ambassador to Nepal, the Chinese tourists tried to enter the Singh Durbar on Friday to raise their problems with Nepal’s senior officials. The protesters carried banners that read “no money need home” and “we want to go back home”. However, they were stopped by Nepal police as they tried to enter a restricted area.
The police resorted to violence to manage the crowd at the gate of Singh Durbar, where the Prime Minister’s office is situated and is also an administrative centre. The Chinese citizens demanded that they be allowed to return home. Police sources say that 38 Chinese protesters have been taken under custody.
Kiran Bajracharya, the spokesperson for Ranipokhari Metropolitan Police, stated that the protesters were trying to enter a restricted area outside Singh Durbar and didn’t maintain social distancing. He added that injured police personnel have been taken to Dipendra police hospital, Panipokhari in Kathmandu.
As the Nepal government imposed a lockdown to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from spreading, Chinese tourists and some other nationals have been stranded. Meanwhile, Germany, Australia, USA, Bhutan and some other countries have already arranged for the return of their citizens.
The Nepal police will be filing a complaint against two Chinese citizens for misbehaviour and attack on police, sources say.