Cadres of Unified CPN (Maoist) clashed with riot police while staging sit-ins and other protest programmes outside the country's administrative center, Singha Durbar, from early morning, Thursday, as part of their second phase of agitation against the President's move.
|Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal (center, front row), vice chairman...|
More than 50 Maoist cadres including senior leaders and some lawmakers of the party were injured after police resorted to baton-charge and fired tear-gas shells to prevent the crowd from entering the prohibited areas around Singha Durbar in the course of their protests.
Places like Maitighar, Anamngar and Bijuli Bazaar saw the most clashes between the police and the protesters. The situation there remained tense in these areas throughout afternoon.
Our correspondents covering the protests said Maoist leaders Amik Sherchan, Krishna Bahadur Mahara including few other Maoist lawmakers are among the injured in today's clashes. They are undergoing treatment at the Bir Hospital and Everest Nursing Home.
Earlier in the day, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal along with senior Vice-Chairman Mohan Baidhya, General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa led the party's Singha Durbar gherao programme from Bhadrakali, Vice-Chairman Dr. Baburam Bhattarai and other senior leaders from Maitighar Mandala and Narayan Kaji Shrestha from Anamnagar.
Similarly, Amik Shrechan including others picketed the administrative center from Babar Mahal, Krishna Bahadur Mahara from the Kathmandu district Administration Office and Hisila Yami from Kalikasthan.
The Ministers and government employees reached their offices in Singha Durbar early morning in view of the Maoists' gherao programme. The government had yesterday instructed all high level government officials to compulsorily attend their offices on Thursday. Reports say, some of the ministers and high-level government employees had entered Singha Durbar before dawn
Maoist cadres from Kathmandu valley and those brought in from nearby districts including Kavre, Nuwakot, Dhading, Gorkha and Tanahun staged demonstrations at Bhadrakali, Maitighar, Babarmahal, Kalikasthan, Pradarshanimarg and other places around Singha Durbar.
The Maoist cadres sang various kinds of traditional and 'revolutionary' songs, making the atmosphere very lively and musical. Some of them even danced and found a unique way of protesting by reciting poems and performing small acts.
They obstructed the movement of vehicles in the area preventing some government employees from entering their offices in and around Singha Durbar premises.
Thousands of Maoist cadres had been brought from various districts in reserved buses to participate in the demonstration. Many of them are still on their way.
Maoists had earlier issued circulars to members of all trade unions to participate in the demonstrations.
However, the government deployed thousands of security personnel including those from Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force (APF) in and around Singha Durbar area seeing the possibility of clashes.
Vehicular movement in downtown Kathmandu was severely affected for several hours due to the demonstrations. Although, the Maoists had said they would not disturb the normal functioning of any other offices, schools or market, many schools in Kathmandu also remained closed today in view of the Maoist demonstration.
Bus ferrying Maoist cadres meets with accident, one killed
Meanwhile, a bus ferrying Maoist cadres from Gorkha to Kathmandu, who were coming to participate in the demonstrations had an accident this morning.
One Maoist cadre has been killed while more than three dozen have been injured.
Suresh Tamu, 25, of Kerabari, Gorkha, who was critically injured in the accident, died shortly after being brought to Jana Maitri Hospital for treatment. The bus was at a very high speed when the accident occurred, according to an injured of the accident.
About two dozen injured have been brought to Kathmandu for treatment, while about 10 persons who had sustained injuries have returned home after basic treatment at medical stores in Anbu Khaireni.
Eight of the injured are being treated at Bir Hospital, while the remaining are being treated at Jana Maitri Hospital, Balaju. Seven of injured are in critical condition. nepalnews.com