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Disease dampen indefinite strike by Maoists

world Updated: May 04, 2010 16:05 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
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Hundreds of demonstrators are falling sick as the indefinite strike called by opposition Maoists in Nepal to remove the government continued the third consecutive day on Tuesday.

The protestors who have been demonstrating on the streets of Kathmandu and other towns since Sunday are falling prey to diarrhea, unhygienic food and water, improper sanitation and fatigue.

Nepal's main opposition party, UCPN (Maoist), is demanding resignation of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and formation of a national unity government headed by them to ensure completion of the peace and constitution drafting processes within the May 28 deadline.

"Nearly 300 protestors are suffering from diarrhea, allergy, common cold and other ailments," informed Mangal BK, president of All Nepal Public Health Workers Association, a sister organization of UCPN (M).

Reports say that 40 Maoists are admitted in hospitals in Kathmandu while 350 fell sick in Nepalganj and Dang. Onset of rains also led hundreds to leave for their villages to plant maize and wheat crops.

Life in the capital remained crippled as shops, schools and offices remained closed on Tuesday as well. Although shops have been allowed to open for two hours in the evening, supplies are running short due to hoarding.

Home ministry officials informed that early on Tuesday morning armed police escorted few trucks filled with food and oil into the Kathmandu Valley to ensure adequate supply of essential goods.

Although several rounds of bilateral and tripartite talks have been held among the ruling CPN (UML) and Nepali Congress and UCPN (M) since Sunday to end the present impasse, no end is in sight.

The tenure of the constituent assembly ends on May 28 and if the peace and constitution drafting processes don't get completed by then Nepal could again come under emergency rule.