Nepal places top leaders under house arrest
A curfew has also been imposed to derail opposition plans for a massive rally to protest the King's seizure of absolute power.india Updated: Jan 20, 2006 12:11 IST
Nepal's royal government placed top opposition leaders under house arrest on Friday while imposing a curfew to derail opposition plans for a massive rally to protest the King's seizure of absolute power nearly a year ago.
Troops surrounded the houses of at least four top politicians from the alliance of seven major political parties that was trying to organise the protest rally in Kathmandu on Friday.
The four opposition leaders were told they would be under house arrest for 90 days, the National Human Rights Commission said.
They are Nepali Congress Party President Girija Prasad Koirala, general secretary of the Communist Party of Nepal Madhav Kumar Nepal, his deputy, Khadga Prasad Oli, and Narayan Man Bijuchche of Nepal Workers and Peasants' Party.
The government already had imposed an 8 am to 6 pm curfew on Friday in Kathmandu, enforced by about 15,000 army soldiers and policemen patrolling the streets of Kathmandu and the suburb of Lalitpur.
The city was nearly deserted after an initial burst of activity as residents rushed to buy groceries and drive to work before the curfew began.
The government said it must prevent the rally because it has information that communist rebels plan to use the event to stage attacks. The Maoist guerrillas have been fighting to set up a socialist government.