9 people arrested for setting afire tourist counter in Nepal

Nine people were arrested today after a group of Maoist cadres and locals clashed with the police and set ablaze a tourist fee counter here over the issue of increased entry fee at Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has recently signed a deal with the Side Walkers Traders, a private organisation, to increase the entry fee to the world-famous site by 250 rupees from today, taking the new fee to 1,000 rupees.

The local people including some Maoist leaders demanded the deal be scrapped and a group of Maoist cadres today set on fire a tourist ticket counter at the entrance to the site.

The police mobilised to control the incident later arrested nine people suspected of being involved in incident. The KMC officials contend that after paying the hiked fee, the tourists need not pay a separate 250 rupees for visiting Dharahara Tower, a 200-year-old historical tower that allows bird's eye view of the city.

The protesters however called the deal unfair as they argued against merging of the two charges, saying that the municipality cannot force tourists to visit the Tower.

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