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Spurned monarch tightens screw on protesters

IT SEEMS the country is still a long way from beating the crown. Buoyed by the recent tide of support from the international community, King Gyanendra on Sunday stuck to his "tough stand" against pro-democracy activists in the capital. The government clamped an 11-hour curfew in Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur.

india Updated: Apr 24, 2006 00:37 IST

IT SEEMS the country is still a long way from beating the crown. Buoyed by the recent tide of support from the international community, King Gyanendra on Sunday stuck to his "tough stand" against pro-democracy activists in the capital. The government clamped an 11-hour curfew in Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur.

Defying the curfew, over two lakh people took part in protest marches. A fresh wave of violence erupted after police fired at demonstrators at Koteswore in Kathmandu, injuring three protesters.

The number of soldiers patrolling the streets was much higher on Sunday and the government, for the first time, deployed a three-tier security arrangement -- the front row of civil police, followed by the armed police and the Royal Nepalese Army.

The Seven-Party Alliance (SPA) turned down Gyanendra's offer to hand over power to the people and set up a caretaker government. It also refused to recommend a PM.

Meanwhile, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) said the royal proclamation did not have any significance "other than fulfilling feudal arrogance" and threatened to intensify its movement. In a statement issued to HT through e-mail, Prachanda alias Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the chairman of CPN (Maoist), said the "sea of masses on the streets manifests that the liberation from the feudal monarchy was the only solution".

First Published: Apr 24, 2006 00:37 IST