KATHMANDU – At least two tourists were injured when agitating transport workers indiscriminately attacked eight tourist buses in Kaski district in western Nepal on Tuesday.
According to The Kathmandu Post Wednesday’s report, the attackers intercepted eight Kathmandu-bound tourist vehicles in the district and vandalized them for defying the strike called by transport entrepreneurs nationwide.
Following the attack, more than 150 tourists, mostly Indian and South Korean, returned disappointed to Pokhara, some 200 km west of Kathmandu.
“We enjoyed the natural beauty of Pokhara. But this unfortunate incident while we were returning really made us sad,” said Rakesh Verma, a tourist from India.
“A group of about 16 transport entrepreneurs arrived there on bikes, stopped our vehicles and vandalized them,” said driver Kamal Prasad Poudel.
He said the attackers also manhandled the drivers and other bus crews. Claiming that nobody had attacked tourist vehicles in the past, he demanded that the government ensure their security.
Terming the attack an inhumane act, Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA) Pokhara chapter lodged a complaint at the District Administration Office demanding action.
Kedarnath Lamichhane, vice chairman of NATTA Pokhara chapter, claimed that property worth 400,000 Nepali rupees (some 5,882 U.S. dollars) was damaged in the incident.
Meanwhile, NATTA central office and the Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN) on Tuesday condemned the attack on tourist vehicles, and warned that such inhuman and brutal action would have a negative impact on the arrival of tourists.
NATT and HAN demanded that the Home Ministry probe the incident and provide compensation to the victims. Window glass in the vehicles was broken and tourists sustained injuries to the head and hands.
Demanding 10 percent further hike in the transport fare, the National Federation of Transport Entrepreneurs has imposed strike nationwide from Monday.