September 15, 2008 / 2:56 PM / 11 years ago

Hundreds protest Nepal crackdown on "nude" discos

Dance restaurant employees take part in a protest in Kathmandu September 15, 2008. REUTERS/Gopal Chitrakar

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Hundreds of disco workers protested in Kathmandu on Monday against a government crackdown on “nude dancing” in its bid to improve the deteriorating law and order.

Police have raided scores of discos, nightclubs and dance bars in the past two weeks and detained 1,500 people saying many were running bars where “nude dances” were performed, not allowed by law in the Hindu majority society.

There are hundreds of such night spots in the Kathmandu valley, although the country has no specific law to regulate them.

A Maoist-led government which took power in August has already ordered the bars should be closed an hour before midnight, to halt worsening public security in the capital, home to more than two million people.

Bar and disco operators are protesting the move would jeopardize their business and render 80,000 people jobless.

Police official Sarbendra Khanal said those dancing nude in bars as well as their clients would be charged under the public offence act.

If found guilty they could be sentenced to up to one year in jail and fined $400.

Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Editing by Bappa Majumdar

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