Police in Nepal, citing coronavirus concerns, dispersed a crowd of people in Lalitpur who were attempting the annual chariot procession of Rato Machindranath on Thursday, September 3, local media reported.
The event honors the deity Rato Machindranath and involves moving an idol of the god during a weeks-long chariot procession and celebration.
This year’s procession has been altered and delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and crowding concerns, reports said.
People in the Pulchowk neighborhood started the procession on Thursday as a protest for their “cultural rights,” local media said. Police reportedly used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the crowd of about 800.
These videos, posted by Twitter user @pransadeniaii, show a large crowd moving the chariot through the streets before police assembled in the area. The recorder said police used a water cannon against the group and that tear gas was “everywhere”.
Priyanshu said she was concerned about crowding due to the pandemic, noting that “only a few people” looked to be wearing masks during the event. Credit: @feedthehungrynp via Storyful