Police, Maoist demonstrators clash in Kathmandu
Three Nepalese policemen were hurt in a clash with Maoist demonstrators taking part in wave of protests following the collapse of the ex-rebels' government.world Updated: May 06, 2009 13:14 IST
Three Nepalese policemen were hurt Wednesday in a clash with Maoist demonstrators taking part in wave of protests following the collapse of the ex-rebels' government, witnesses said.
The ultra-leftists called their supporters on to the streets of the Himalayan nation's capital to demonstrate against a move by the president to stop the Maoist government from sacking the head of the army, a longtime rival.
In the latest protest, around 500 Maoist loyalists tried to vandalise a statue of a former king, prompting a clash with anti-riot police, an AFP reporter said.
Three policemen were hurt by stone-throwing, but there were no arrests.
"We are showing maximum restraint so the situation does not get out of hand," said Bharad Lama, a police inspector at the scene.
The Maoists tried to sack General Rookmangud Katawal for refusing to integrate 19,000 former Maoist fighters currently confined to UN-supervised camps into the regular army, as stipulated by a 2006 peace accord that ended a decade of civil war.
The army views the guerrillas as politically indoctrinated, and also accuses the Maoists of not fulfilling commitments to dismantle paramilitary groups.
A group of more than 20 political parties, including the Nepali Congress and the centre-left UML, the second, and third-largest in parliament, met Tuesday and agreed to try and form a 'national government' with the support of the Maoists.
The Maoists, however, have refused to take part in a new government.