UCPN (M) withdraws bandh in three districts following intense criticism
The UCPN (Maoist) party has withdrawn the bandh (shutdown strike) it had imposed in the Kathmandu Valley including Chitwan and Gorkha districts on Sunday to protest against yesterday’s arrest of a party cadre accused of conflict-era murder.
The Maoists announced the end of the strike after 12 pm today following intense criticism from all sides including the general public for trying to obstruct normal life of people in the three districts abruptly and on the eve of Teej, a major festival for Hindu women in Nepal.
UCPN (Maoist) supporters protesting against the arrest of a Maoist party activist on charges ...
Normal life in Kathmandu valley was partially affected since 8 am Saturday after UCPN (M) haphazardly announced the strike in the three districts to protest the arrest of Maoist cadre Ram Prasad Adhikari on charges of murdering the son of Nanda Prasad Adhikari and Ganga Maya during Maoist insurgency in 2004.
The arrest came following 44-day long hunger strike by Nanda Prasad and Ganga Maya at Bir Hospital in the capital to exert pressure on the government to book those guilty of abduction and subsequent murder of their son Krishna Prasad Adhikari in Chitwan during the conflict period.
Angry UCPN (M) activists took out rallies, chanted slogans in many places in the capital including major thoroughfares like Kalanki, Bag Bazaar, Ratnapark and also clashed with security personnel in few places to protest against what they called an arrest that goes against the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and can even deepen the political crisis in the country.
However, it was the general people who faced the brunt of the abrupt strike enforced by the Maoists as there were few public vehicles plying on the streets because of which they had to walk to reach their destinations.
But seeing that the strike called abruptly on the eve of the major festival in the country and on such an unpopular cause only invited public wrath and anger, the UCPN (M) quickly announced the withdrawal of the bandh.
UCPN (M) party spokesperson Agni Sapkota issued a statement early morning on behalf of his party and announced the end of the day-long bandh in view of the Teej festival that Nepali women are preparing to celebrate tomorrow.
Apologizing for the difficulty faced by the people because of the party’s compulsion to impose such an unpopular bandh program to protest the arrest of the party’s cadres involved in murder of Krishna Prasad, Sapkota demanded that Ram Prasad Adhikari be released immediately and all cases against him should be withdrawn.
He said that his party will organise an even more intense struggle if their demand for the release of their cadre were not met. nepalnews.com