Sporadic violence marks fourth day of Maoist strike in Nepal
Sporadic violence marked fourth day of the indefinite strike called by opposition Maoists in Nepal to remove the ruling government.
Unidentified persons fired two shots during a confrontation between supporters of UCPN (Maoist) and Youth Force, the youth wing of ruling CPN (UML), at Bhaktapur near the capital. No one was injured.
Fifteen policemen sustained injuries while controlling a clash between Youth Force and UCPN (M) cadres at Dhankuta. Incidents of damage to shops and vehicles took place in other parts of Nepal as well.
Maoists have been demanding removal of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and setting up a national government headed by them to complete the peace and constitution drafting processes within the May 28 deadline.
Amidst the ongoing deadlock, a senior UCPN (M) politburo member Ram Karki flew to New Delhi on Wednesday to meet Indian leaders. He is reported to have been invited by CPI (M) for talks with Indian leaders.
Till now India has refrained from playing the role of a mediator in ending the political impasse in Nepal.
Normal life continued to be affected, as schools, offices, and shops, business establishments remained closed for the fourth consecutive day.
Early on Wednesday morning, Maoist cadres blocked roads leading to Singha Durbar-the seat of Nepal government-in a bid to prevent ministers from reaching their offices.
But most ministers reached Singha Durbar before the Maoists and entered the heavily protected compound with police cover.
Home Minister Bhim Rawal told journalists on Wednesday that there was adequate supply of goods in the capital and if required the government would bring in more supplies with police escort.
He appealed to banks, which have remained closed since Sunday to start operations and assured adequate security.
Meetings among the ruling parties and UCPN (M) continued on Wednesday as well. But there is no end to the impasse in sight.
The Maoists are demanding the Prime Minister's resignation as a pre-condition for withdrawing the strike while the ruling parties are asking the opposition party to call off the strike before arriving at any consensus.