Maoist strike paralyses Nepal

Maoist strike paralyses Nepal

Maoist supporters shout slogans against the government as they march during their three-day strike in Katmandu on Sunday. AP

Maoists supporters disrupted normal life across the country as they blocked roads, attacked vehicles, forced shops to close and clashed with the riot police in an effort to mount pressure on the government to rectify the “unconstitutional” decision of President Ram Baran Yadav to reinstate General Rukmangad Katawal, the then Army chief dismissed by Maoists Prime Minister Prachanda in May.

Over 62 Maoist activists were arrested from across the country while 24 people were injured while enforcing the general strike on Sunday, according to the police. Most of them were injured at Baneshwor area of the capital during clashes with security forces.
Clashes erupted in the capital as Maoists supporters blocked the road leading to the international airport on the eve of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal’s arrival from the UN climate summit in Copenhagen.

The police baton-charged the protesters and fired tear gas shells to control the situation, which remained tensed for hours. Six policemen, including a deputy superintendent of police were also injured in the clashes.

The Maoists attacked the vehicle of Nepalese Minister Shatrughan Mahato in Baneshwor. A Maoist lawmaker Yasoda Gurung was also injured in the clashes. The protesters also set on fire one of the offices of Mahendra Vindeshwori Campus in Rajbiraj of southern Nepal for defying their call for shutdown.

The police arrested at least two dozen people from the Pashupatinath Temple area as they were trying to enforce the shutdown. Some 12 Maoist cadres were arrested from Saptari district in southern Nepal, the police said.

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