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Strike cripples normal life in Kathmandu

Buses, taxis and other vehicles kept off the roads while markets, schools and colleges were shut due to strike.

india Updated: Oct 28, 2005 13:10 IST

Normal life in Nepal's Kathmandu Valley wasparalysed on Friday following a general strike called by seven major political parties against King Gyanendra's controversial media ordinance that curtails press freedom.

Buses, taxis and other vehicles kept off the roads while markets, schools and colleges were shut in the Nepalese capital and adjoining Lalitpur and Bhaktapur districts due to the strike, the first after a raid on a popular FM station.

Attendance in government and business offices was also thin.

At least 500 political activists and students were arrested from different parts of the valley as they tried to take out rallies in support of the strike, Nepali Congress spokesman Krishna Sitoula said.

The seven parties have been leading a campaign for restoration of press freedom, but the immediate provocation for the general strike was a raid on Kantipur FM Stationafter it defied a government ban on airing news programmes.

Security personnel and officials from the Ministry of Communication on last Friday raided the station, seized all its equipment and disconnected its transmission links with the eastern Nepal districts.

First Published: Oct 28, 2005 13:10 IST