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Nepal on high alert as Maoists plan fresh protests

Nepal government put its security forces on high-alert after the Maoists vowed a fresh round of protests and rally next week amid the deepening political crisis following the failure to promulgate a new constitution.

world Updated: May 20, 2010 18:46 IST

Nepal government on Thursday put its security forces on high-alert after the Maoists vowed a fresh round of protests and rally next week amid the deepening political crisis following the failure to promulgate a new constitution.

The Security Council, headed by Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, met today to review the security in the country as the main Opposition CPN-Maoist warned of more demonstrations and a mass rally ahead of the expiry of the term of the country's Constituent Assembly on May 28.

The government instructed the security agencies to be put on high alert in the wake of the political uncertainty that may arise after the term of the Assembly expires.

The National Security Council meeting today reviewed the security situation in the country and instructed all security agencies to be on alert in view of the political uncertainty that may emerge after May 28, when the term of the Constituent Assembly will end, Subhash Devkota, press advisor to Defence Minister Vidya Bhandari, told PTI.

The government has not decided to mobilise the army but instruction has been issued to all security agencies to be put on high alert and to keep vigil on the security situation in the country in view of the new developments, he said.

The top official said the instruction has been issued in the wake of the Unified CPN-Maoist's move to announce their constitution from the street on May 29.

Nepalese political leaders are set to miss the May end deadline to finish the drafting of a new constitution as stipulated by the 2006 peace process that ended the decade-long civil war by the Maoists.

The former rebels, who had crippled the country with its weeklong indefinite strike, plans demonstrations starting on Tuesday leading to a mass rally on Saturday.

The government has already introduced a motion in the Parliament to extend the term of the Assembly for one year. It is hoping to avert a political crisis by extending the Assembly's term for another year to give the deadlocked political parties more time to frame a new constitution.

However, it it needs the crucial support of the largest CPN-Maoist party for it to be endorsed by the required two-thirds majority.

The security agencies have been alerted in either cases, whether the Constituent Assembly's term gets extended or not, Devkota pointed out.

Chiefs of all security agencies, including the Nepal Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and National Investigation Department, were present during the meeting of the Council.