The traffic police officer has been identified as Kamal Prasad Ghimire, who was on his way to Pulchowk area for his shift when the incident took place. Ghimire, who sustained injuries on his head and hands, is now receiving treatments at Alka hospital.
According to SSP Sushil Kumar Yadav, the Spokesperson at Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s Office in Ranipokhari, four persons were injured in the incident and they are all receiving treatments in hospital. Health condition of a local and officer Ghimire is critical. "We have yet to prepare the details of the incident," Yadav said.
Eye witnesses said around 1000 people had gathered in Pulchowk area to start the chariot pulling procession of Rato Machhindranath, against the government’s prohibitory order to contain the spread of COVID-19 that restricted organizing the event
Another user @mondaygreens tweeted, "Is this a part of any culture? Lynching a singled-out individual? Which God asks for this kind of 'devotion'? Sick people. Mob mentality CANNOT be justified in the name of culture and religion."
Police officers have also expressed concerns over the incident. "This has shattered the enthusiasm of security personnel spending day and night to protect the people," said SSP Bhim Prasad Dhakal, Chief of the Metropolitan Traffic Police Office, Ramshahpath. "We are trying to identify the attackers, and we will punish them accordingly."
"The Metropolitan Police Range Office (MPRO), Lalitpur is also working to identify the culprits. We will make sure that those behind this incident do not go unpunished," informed SSP Tek Prasad Rai, chief of MPRO, Lalitpur.
The local administration had banned organizing the chariot-pulling procession of Rato Machhindranath in light of the pandemic. Defying the prohibitory order of the local administration, a number of people had gathered at the place where the chariot was readied in Pulchowk on Thursday morning. They carried placards with the slogans that read: "The chariot-pulling procession of Rato Machhindranath should be allowed following public health standards".
However, defying the rules under the prohibitory order, people gathered in large numbers for the procession. As the people did not give in to the request to avoid gathering, police officers used water cannons and tear gas cells to disperse the crowd, leading to a violent clash between the locals and the police on duty.