Maoists declare autonomous Kathmandu

Maoists declare autonomous Kathmandu

Political confrontation looms as left-wing group seizes Nepalese capital

Maoists declare autonomous Kathmandu

Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal waves to the crowd during the inauguration of a new autonomous state in Kathmandu on Wednesday. Reuters

Waving red flags, 5000 militant cadres forced their way into the Durbar Square city centre where their chief Prachanda declared Kathmandu valley as the Newa Autonomous State.

Parallel govts

The Maoists, who have already announced the formation of parallel governments in nine districts, paid little heed to warnings by the Nepali Congress to desist from such tactics as it may lead to “biggest political and social confrontation”.

Though the Maoist takeover was more of a symbolic nature, their choice of the capital city sent shock-waves in the ruling CPN-UML-led 22-party alliance.

Prachanda lit a traditional lamp to declare Kathmandu as Newa Autonomous State by flying a banner that read ‘Newa Autonomous State’ as hundreds of balloons were let off.

A gun salute was given and the city was declared an autonomous state with traditional music in the background. “Our move is not intended to disrupt the peace process or block the constitution making task,” Prachanda pro-claimed.

He added that the declaration was to “make people aware about federalism and strengthen the republican system.”


The Maoist supremo claimed that “regressive forces were hatching a conspiracy against the republican system and trying to reverse the change.”

Another Maoist leader who spoke on the occasion defended their move to declare various areas as autonomous regions and rejected the claim that it would derail the peace process and lead to disintegration of the nation.

Besides Kathmandu, the other autonomous regions announced by the former rebels include Kochila, Limbuwan Sherpa, Kirat, Seti-Mahakali, Bhote –Lama, Bheri-Karnali and Tharuwan.

The party is planning to declare altogether 13 autonomous states in the country by December 18.

The Maoists, who were thrown out of power more than seven months ago, have already paralysed working of country’s parliament and launched agitation nationwide.