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Police mobilise rapid rescue squad for Bisket Jatra

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BHAKTAPUR — A rapid rescue squad of police is being mobilised for the first time for this year’s Bisket Jatra festival in Bhaktapur.

The rapid rescue team has been set up considering the risk of accidents due to the tremble caused by the rushing wheels of the chariot on the roadside houses damaged in the earthquake, said Police Superintendent at Metropolitan Police Circle Bhaktapur Kiran Bajracharya.

The festival observed in Bhaktapur for eight nights and nine days begins from local Taumadhi on April 9.

A team from Nepal Police headquarters will remain on standby in Bhaktapur with all necessary tools and equipment for rescue and relief.

Considering the risk on many houses supported by external beams in Bhaktapur, the route for the chariots to be taken out during the festival has also been shortened, SP Bajracharya said.

All liquor shops in the areas hosting the festival will be shut considering the possibility of booze-related hooliganism.

CCTV cameras have also been installed at major thoroughfares while plain-clothed police personnel will be mobilised to monitor the crowd, police said.

Many volunteers are being mobilised with the help of Nepal Red Cross Society and local social clubs to help organise the festival in a peaceful manner.

Medical teams will also be put on the standby for immediate treatment of anyone injured.

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Devotees throng Pashupatinath on Maha Shivaratri

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KATHMANDU — Devotees from various places of the country and neighboring India have thronged Pathupatinath Temple since early Tuesday morning to offer prayers on Maha Shivaratri.

All four doors of the temple were open at 3:15 for the devotees to pay homage to Lord Shiva, said director of the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) Bhola Sitaula.

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Arrangements have been made for the devotees to enter the main temple from three doors (a door in the south of Pingalasthan, another in the west of Jayabageshwori-Bhuvaneshwori, and the third from Mitrapark-Umakunda-Basuki), he said.

The devotees are supposed to exit from the same door they have entered, said another PADT official. Approximately 1.3 million devotees are estimated on the festival this year, he said.

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