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Nepal King continues crackdown on Opposition

King Gyanendra ordered a raid at the residence of top communist leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, who has been under house arrest.
None | By Indo-Asian News Service, Kathmandu
PUBLISHED ON MAR 23, 2006 01:28 PM IST

Nepal King Gyanendra continued to crack down on opposition leaders, ordering a raid at the residence of a top communist leader who has been under house arrest.

Madhav Kumar Nepal, general secretary of the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist, the biggest overground Left party and a leading member of the opposition alliance, had his house in Kathmandu raided on Wednesday with security forces seizing telephones, faxes and computers.

Nepal has been under house arrest since January 19 and barred from meeting visitors, including visiting foreign envoys.

Wednesday's raid was conducted without any search warrant, Nepal's party said.

The act has been condemned by the other six parties in the opposition coalition, who have called it highhandedness and an example of "state-sponsored terrorism".

The raid came even as the kingdom's Supreme Court ordered the release of another opposition leader, Gopal Man Shrestha, also detained since January.

Shrestha is deputy chief of the Nepali Congress (Democratic) party, led by deposed prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.

The release of another dissident leader, Hridayesh Tripathi, is on the cards with the apex court ordering the state to produce Tripathi before it on Friday.

The fresh crackdown comes with the opposition having announced a four-day protest programme from April 6 that includes a four-day nationwide shutdown and a mass protest in Kathmandu on April 8.

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