Intensifying moves to topple the government, the Maoists on Wednesday laid siege to the country's power centre Singhdurbar as their cadres crippled life in the capital for the fourth day in a row, prompting the Prime Minister to hold confabulations with foreign envoys on the situation.
Premier Madhav Kumar Nepal met diplomatic heads including Indian Ambassador Rakesh Sood and US envoy Delisi Scott as Maoists cadres carrying sticks and red banners blocked all approach roads leading to the country's key administrative building complex, in an attempt to pressurise the government to quit and also enforced a complete shutdown throughout the country.
Talking tough, Maoists former guerrilla turned party chief Prachanda warned that they did not intend to relent and asked his cadres to further intensify the protest.
Thousands of Maoist supporters surrounded the Singhdurbar building which houses the prime minister's office as well as the parliament building from 5 AM in the morning to prevent ministers from attending office as hundreds of tourists including foreign nationals remained stranded in the city-centre and food stocks and medicines supplies ran low.
However, officials said that 9-10 ministers upstaged the protesters by reaching the office before 5 AM.
The enforcement of complete shutdown by the Maoists raised the spectre of a political confrontation with reports coming in of the ruling coalition parties organising anti-Maoist rallies in southern and western Nepal.
With the essential supplies drying up in the capital, the authorities manage to sneak in some essential daily use food items in truck convoys escorted by armed policemen.
Meanwhile, people have started organising anti-Maoist demonstrations in various parts of the country to show protest against the indefinite strike.
In Janakpur town in southern Nepal activists belonging to Madhesi Peoples' Rights Forum (Democratic) organised protest rally shouting anti-Maoists slogans.
Similarly, in Syangja district in western Nepal the local people came to the street to oppose the Maoists' strike and opened the market.
In Solukhumbu district in northern Nepal Nepal Students Union affiliated to ruling Nepali Congress organised anti-Maoist rallies showing protest against the indefinite strike.
In Bhaktapur district situated in the east of Kathmandu after the locals opposed the Maoists' protests and opened some shops clash occurred between the Maoists and the Yoth Force, a sister organisation of the ruling CPN-UML.