Government takes action following EPS protest incident

Kathmandu: In a decisive response to the recent demonstration calling for participation in the Employment Permit System (EPS) examination, the government has taken disciplinary action against key officials. Acknowledging shortcomings in the state’s handling of the situation, Home Minister Narayankaji Shrestha announced the relief of Lalitpur Chief District Officer (CDO) Rudra Prasad Pandit, Chief of Lalitpur Police Range, SSP Shiddhi Bikram Shah, and EPS Korea Branch Director Gurudatta Subedi from their respective duties.

The decision extends to the suspension of DSP Umesh Joshi and the Private Security Officer (PSO) of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Minister Prakash Jwala, Bodhraj Danuwar, both deployed from Lalitpur Police.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal addressed the incident during the opening ceremony of the Sixth Joint Trade Union Coordination Centre in Kathmandu on Saturday. PM Dahal acknowledged certain weaknesses in managing the situation on Friday, stating, “Our minister’s PSO has been suspended after recognizing a serious error in the process of taking that vehicle without properly assessing the situation.” He further added, “Similarly, the officer who gave the order to open fire has also been suspended pending the investigation report.”

The demonstration, which occurred in front of the Employment Permit System (EPS) office in Balkumari on Friday, involved youths protesting the results of the Korean language test for shipbuilding work. They demanded the opportunity to fill out the language test form for manufacturing work in South Korea. The protest turned violent, with accusations of police personnel using excessive force, resulting in two casualties. Protesters also set fire to the vehicle of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Minister Prakash Jwala.