Life came to a halt in Nepal's southern district on Friday following an indefinite strike by transporters to protest Maoist "atrocities" as donor nations, including India, warned rebels that such moves could cripple the country's struggling economy.
Transporters at Janakpur in Dhanusha district brought vehicular movement in the area to a halt to protest the rebels attempt at abducting the leader of the Janakpur Bus Entrepreneurs' Association Shyam Chaudhary on Wednesday following a scuffle between the bus entrepreneurs and the Maoists.
The dispute occurred after the Maoists tried to disrupt the bus entrepreneurs election to elect its new executive body, a media report said.
The bus entrepreneurs launched anti-Maoist demonstrations chanting slogans against local rebel leaders. The Janakpur market was also shut down following the incident,'The Kathmandu Post reported.
Meanwhile, the Industrial Security Group (ISG) comprising the embassies of Nepal's main donor countries including India, US and UK, said that such moves by the Maoists could cripple Nepal's struggling economy.
A statement issued by the US Embassy on behalf of ISG said Maoist extortion demands coupled with aggressive efforts by the rebels to intimidate employees into joining Maoist unions are pushing enterprises toward bankruptcy and putting entire sectors of the economy at risk.
The group has urged the rebels to honour their stated commitments to cease such activities immediately.
These actions contravene international human rights standards, the statement said.