Monday, November 2, 2009

Maoists picket local government offices


A day after torch-bearing Maoist leaders and cadres hailed the start of their second phase of nationwide protests, the main opposition party Unified CPN (Maoist) has picketed all offices of the local government across the country on Monday.

The party cadres had gathered at all VDC offices and municipalities from early morning restricting the government employees from carry out their work. The demonstrators are chanting slogans against the coalition government.

In Kathmandu, public transport has been disrupted in several places as Maoists gather in front of the municipalities and ward offices restricting employees from entering their offices.

According to party plans, the programmes to picket the government offices will continue till evening today.

The Maoists had on Oct 22 announced a two-week protest programme stating that the government and political parties were not serious about their demands which includes correcting the "unconstitutional" move of the President vis-à-vis the former Army chief and other civilian supremacy issues.

The former rebel party had given a nine-day deadline to the government and political parties to come to a consensus on those issues, which ended on Sunday.

Maoist spokesperson Dina Nath Sharma said that even though the second phase of protests have started, the party will not close the door for consensus as it will continue to hold talks with political parties.

Party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal had inaugurated the torch rally yesterday evening in Kathmandu participated by nearly 20,000 Maoist cadres.

The rally of torch-bearing Maoist leaders and cadres began from Old Bus Park and traversed through Bagbazaar, Putalisadak and Shahid Gate before congregating at Basantapur.

The capital's traffic was thrown out of gear for about an hour due to the Maoist torch rally.

Earlier in the day, the Maoist chairman had warned of a revolt if the government resorted to use of force to suppress their "peaceful protests".

Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ramesh Chand Thakuri has directed police personnel deployed in the streets during the Maoist protests to exercise maximum restraint and not use unnecessary force to quell the demonstration.

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