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Nepal on alert as Maoists refuse to budge

world Updated: May 20, 2010 23:13 IST
Utpal Parashar

Security forces in Nepal have been put on high alert in view of possible violence on May 29 when opposition Maoists will declare the country’s new constitution from streets.

The Security Council headed by Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal on Thursday took stock of the situation and discussed strategy to tackle probable outbreak of violence.

Emerging from the meeting Deputy PM Bijay Kumar Gacchadhar informed, “Security forces have been directed to ensure that the Maoist programme doesn’t turn violent.”

The meeting concluded that Nepal could plunge into crisis if Maoists refuse to support extending the Constituent Assembly’s term beyond May 28.

Chiefs of Nepal Police, Nepal Army, Armed Police Force and National Investigation Department were present in the meeting. The SC can recommend deployment of army personnel if need arises.

Nepal’s main opposition party, UCPN (Maoist), will declare their version of the country’s new constitution on May 29—a day after tenure of CA and deadline for drafting the new constitution expires.

Since stepping down from power a year ago, Maoists have been agitating across the country seeking removal of the coalition government headed by Madhav Kumar Nepal.

The agitation and political impasse has severely affected the constitution drafting process. Efforts are now underway to extend the CA tenure so that the new constitution gets drafted soon.

Earlier this month Maoists had brought the country to a standstill by calling a six-day strike seeking the Prime Minister’s resignation and setting up of a national unity government headed by them.

Clashes during the strike led to four deaths and damage to property worth several million rupees. Despite several rounds of talks between the ruling parties and the Maoists no consensus has been reached yet.

Amidst these developments, UCPN (M) Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ reached a resort at Dhulikhel on Wednesday reportedly to give final touches to the ‘Maoist Constitution’ that will be declared on May 29.