High interest rate victims demand home minister Shrestha’s resignation

Kathmandu, Apr 18: Peasants and landless people who have been victims of money lenders charging high interest have demanded resignation of Home Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha accusing that he sided with the money lenders and further tortured the victims.

Addressing a press conference at Shantibatika, the venue of their protest, the victims said that the police not only refused to hold them peaceful protest to demand justice, it used water cannons and batons against them yesterday.

‘The Home minister is indirectly supporting the money lenders and using state force to silence the victims and their campaign for justice. They held placards like ‘Home Minister quit’ and ‘Nalayak Griha mantri (Useless Home Minister)’. They also alleged that the Home minister was claiming to be a communist but simply collaborating with the feudal and exploiters.

The protesters had clashed with the police at Shantibatika yesterday after they tried to bring out a protest rally, and the police also used water cannons and batons to foil their protest.  Some protestors had also been taken into custody by the police.

The victims, who have put forward 6 point demands that among other includes complete waiver of the interest and action against the money lenders, had pulled out of the negotiation with the government last week alleging that the government was more sympathetic towards the money lenders.