Sunday, June 21, 2009

Maoists protest at govt offices; security on high alert in Nepal

Unified CPN (Maoist) cadres have prevented civil servants and service seekers from entering government offices across the country by staging sit-in demonstrations in front of the offices Sunday as part of their phase wise protest programmes against the President’s move to block the erstwhile government’s decision to dismiss the army chief.

Unified CPN (Maoist) stage dharna (sit-in) at the entrance of Singha Durbar ...
Public has not been able to avail services from government offices and traffic has been thrown out of gear in the capital as well as other major towns in the country.

In Kathmandu, large number of Maoist cadres have gathered around Babarmahal, Maitighar and Bhadrakali to prevent civil servants from entering Singha Durbar- the administrative hub of the country, district administration office, tax office and other offices in the area. They have also staged sit-in demonstrations in other parts of the capital as well as in various districts of the country.

People have not been able to avail public service from the government offices throughout the country.

Security has been kept at high alert around the government offices. Large number of security personnel have been deployed around the offices. Although the home ministry had issued strict instructions to security agencies to ensure entry of civil servants and normal functioning of the day to day activities in the offices, service in government offices has been disrupted throughout the country.

The Maoists have said they would stage the demonstrations from 10 am to 12 noon.

Earlier, newly appointed home minister Bhim Rawal had called security chiefs to his office Saturday and instructed them to impose stringent measures to foil the Maoist plans to disrupt normal business at government offices. The security agencies were instructed to allow peaceful sit-ins, but disperse the crowd if they sit on the way and use maximum force and arrest the demonstrators if necessary.

There have been clashes in some parts of the country in the course of the demonstrations. Singha Durbar area has become tense after demonstrators defied prohibitory orders and tried to breach the police cordon. Some demonstrators and journalists have been injured in the clashes that followed.

A Maoist cadre has been injured in the clashes between the police and the demonstrators in Kavre and police have fired some rounds of tear gas canisters to disperse the demonstrators in Baitadi.

The Maoists have intensified their protests after the new government revoked the previous government’s decision to sack the Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) Rookmangud Katawal and appoint Lt General Kul Bahadur Khadka as the acting CoAS. Khadka has already retired on Saturday, after completing his term.

Source; Nepal News

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