ITAHARI, May 24: The officials of Itahari Sub-Metropolitan City on Thursday boycotted their work, protesting against Mayor Dwarika Lal Chaudhary who has been accused of beating a ward secretary a day ago.
The officials and representatives staged a protest demanding stern action against the mayor for beating Manoj Dahal, a non-gazetted officer as well secretary of ward 19 of the sub-metropolis. Not just that, Mayor Chaudhary allegedly manhandled sub-engineer Ram Khadka, too, accusing him of asking for money while transferring his land.
The representatives and officials of all wards of the local unit joined the protest by boycotting their work. The agitating workers kicked off the protest after submitting a memorandum to Keshav Bimali, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of Itahari. In the memorandum, the officials have stated that they are unsafe inside the sub-metropolis office.
According to CAO Bimali, the employees started their protest after handing him the memorandum and marking their attendance. Bimali further added that Deputy Mayor Laxmi Gautam, among others, is making efforts to convince the officials to go back to work.
Mayor Chaudhary, on the other hand, seemed busy with the local leaders of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) in Bhedetar on Thursday to find out solutions to the issue. A year ago, Chaudhary was accused of misappropriating funds when the local unit purchased CFL bulbs worth around Rs 10 million without any competition. This case was forwarded to the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA). However, Chaudhary's involvement in the misappropriation could not be established.
So, on Wednesday, the mayor lost his calm and thrashed secretary Dahal after he brought up the same issue. Initially, the mayor had instructed Dahal to resign from his post but he ended up beating him after Dahal refused to do so.
Meanwhile, Mayor Chaudhary also misbehaved with the journalists who reached the sub-metropolis office to cover the issue. Province 1 chapter of the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), as well as the FNJ central committee, have criticized the mayor for ill-treating the journalists.