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Maoists block seat of Nepal government; dozen injured

A dozen persons including three policemen were injured in clashes during a blockade of Singha Durbar—the seat of Nepal government—by thousands of opposition Maoist cadres on Sunday.

world Updated: May 09, 2010 17:04 IST
Utpal Parashar

A dozen persons including three policemen were injured in clashes during a blockade of Singha Durbar—the seat of Nepal government—by thousands of opposition Maoist cadres on Sunday.

The incident occurred when policemen tried to stop Maoist supporters from marching towards Singha Durbar violating prohibitory orders. A senior police officer and a journalist were also injured.

The clash broke out after Maoist cadres beat up a person alleging that he was a vigilante. Police had to fire several tear gas shells to disperse the stone-pelting mob and bring the situation under control.

Although areas around Singha Durbar were declared as prohibited zone, Maoist supporters reached early in the morning and blocked all four entrance points to the compound.

Besides Singha Durbar, Maoists also picketed outside district offices across Nepal bringing administrative work to a halt.

Since calling off its indefinite strike on Friday, Nepal’s main opposition party, UCPN (Maoist), has announced its decision to continue its agitation to remove the government in a different manner.

Addressing a mass rally on Saturday, UCPN (M) chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ had vowed to continue the agitation till the present government is removed and a national unity government formed.

“To reach an agreement, Maoists have to speak the language of consensus and not intimidation,” Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal told a delegation of industrialists who met him on Sunday.

A meeting of the ruling Nepali Congress central committee on Sunday urged the Maoists to reach a consensus on the peace and constitution-drafting processes.

“The ball is still in the court of Maoists,” said NC leader KP Sitaula while talking to journalists after the meeting.

In his Saturday address, Prachanda had stated that since the Maoists had called off the strike, the ball was in the court of the ruling parties on whether they wanted to resolve the political deadlock soon or not.