KATHMANDU: A clash ensued between police and locals at Pulchok as the latter started Machhindranath Jatra by pulling the chariot defying prohibitory orders on Thursday.
Locals thronged in a large number without any prior notice. Police after failing to reason with the people present in thousands resorted to the use of water canons in a bid to disperse the crowd. A few rounds of tear gas shells were also fired.
The locals then retorted by pelting stones at the police vehicles.
At present, security personnel have taken the situation under control and have cordoned the area where the chariot stands. Personnel from Armed Police Force too have been deployed in the area for security.
The Machhindranath Jatra or the Bunga Dyaḥ Jatra that was due to take place in April has been deferred this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The chariot has been standing stranded at Pulchok for months now.
It is believed that the chariot must be taken to Bungmati before the Malamas which will begin at around mid-Spetember in 2020.
Due to the pandemic, many festivities in the valley have been cancelled this year. The ongoing Yenyā (Indrajatra) too is being observed amid low-key festivities.
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