KATHMANDU, May 7: The government on Sunday released all transport operators arrested in the past two days from various parts of the country including the capital after they agreed in writing to operate under the Companies Act and end their protests. The government had arrested top office bearers including the president of the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs (FNNTE) after they launched transport strike against a government decision to end transport cartels.
Police on Sunday released 106 transport entrepreneurs including FNNTE President Yogendra Nath Karmacharya, Senior Vice-President Bijay Bahadur Swar, General Secretary Punya Prasad Sitaula (Saroj), Deputy General Secretary Basanta Bhandari, Treasurer Kiran Kumar Khadka and In-Charge of Province 3 Dharma Raj Rimal after they submitted a joint statement to the authorities welcoming and supporting the government move to end transport cartels and promising to operate under the Companies Act.
"In the last two days, a total of 86 transport entrepreneurs were arrested including top FNNTE office bearers from the capital. All of them have now been freed after they promised in writing to welcome the government decision and operate as per the law," said DSP Mohan Thapa of Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range (KMPR).
In the written statement, six FNNTE office bearers have also promised that they will not provoke any transport operator to go against the government decision and they are ready to face legal action if they broke the promise. They had submitted their written statement to the government in the presence of the chief district officer of Kathmandu Kedar Nath Sharma, Chief of Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range (KMPR) SSP Bishwa Raj Pokharel and two other representatives of the FNNTE.
On Saturday, police had arrested five top FNNTE office bearers including the president, Karmacharya, while they were reportedly holding a meeting with other office bearers of the umbrella organization to plan new protests at Indreni Banquet at New Baneshwar. Likewise, FNNTE Vice-president Krishna Prasad Subedi, General Secretary Sitaula and Deputy Treasurer Dambar Panta including other office bearers were arrested from the capital on Friday.
Police had arrested over 114 entrepreneurs in the last two days. Likewise, the government has also scrapped route permits of 26 microbuses, frozen bank accounts maintained in the names of the transport entrepreneurs' committees and associations and also announced to investigate the property of their office bearers on Friday.
After police released the transport entrepreneurs, a meeting was held for two hours between the government and the transport entrepreneurs at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport at Singha Durbar. They have reportedly agreed to hold a joint conference on Monday.