Thousands of casino staff agitate after police intervention

Kathmandu: Staff of the city’s famous casinos on Saturday were up in arms in protest against alleged police highhandedness at one of the seven super joints last night, which left over two dozen staff members injured.

Over 6,000 employees of the city’s seven casino’s took to streets to protest the incident at a time when the capital city is looking forward to influx of more tourists and clients, to turn the tide for these gaming houses, which have worn a forlorn look for the past few years.

The incident, which triggered the protests, took place last night when some 5-6 policemen in plain clothes forced their way into the casino in the luxury hotel Annapurna owned jointly by an Indian and his American Partner.

The policemen in mufti, got into heated arguments with the casino staff and additional riot police had to be rushed in. They stormed into the casino and started beating the staff members injuring at least two dozen of them and damaging eight vehicles. Some 5-6 policemen had also received injuries during the clash.

Early today, hundreds of casino staff gathered at Maitighar Mandala of Kathmandu to register their protest against the police excesses. They staged sit-in in the area and handed over a complaint to the Home Minister.

Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam, has charged earlier that casinos are freely allowing Nepali nationals and promoting hooliganism and illegal business.

„We will not allow any Nepalese national into the casino, if we found any Nepalese playing in the casinos we will take strong action,“ he warned.