Nation limps back to normalcy after CPN-M bandh
KATHMANDU: Life in the Kathmandu Valley and across the county which was crippled has normalized after the nationwide shutdown enforced by the CPN-Maoist ended after 5 pm on Tuesday evening. CPN-Maoist enforced the bandh across the country today against the parties’ efforts to constitute election government under Chief Justice leadership and to demand the release of its cadres accused in the murder of journalist Dekendra Thapa dubbing them as political prisoners.
Although the CPN-Maoist issuing a press statement this evening claimed that the strike was “peaceful”, dozens of vehicles including that of media were vandalised across the nation despite its promise to not obstruct vehicles of press, dairy products and ambulances.
The cadres of the CPN-Maoist vandalised a vehicle belonging to the Kantipur Television at New Baneshwor and of Sagarmatha Television at Mid Baneshwor in the Capital on early morning. According to the reports from Pokhara, bandh enforcers vandalised a tourist vehicle in Pokhara. District Police Office, Kaski informed that the bandh enforcers vandalised the vehicle at the main road by hurling the stones while it was heading towards a hotel after dropping off tourists at the Pokhara airport.
Police informed that the driver of the vehicle Nabin Magar was also injured in the incident. Tourist entrepreneurs, Pokhara demanded the arrest of the culprits and stern action against them and compensation for the vehicle. Similarly, the bandh enforcers had also vandalised a private car at Prithvi Chowk. Similarly, Government offices in Tansen, headquarters of Palpa and nearby areas have been vandalised by the cadres of CPN-M as part of their bandh against the formation of election government under the sitting Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi on Tuesday.
Bandh enforcers have vandalised Land Revenue Office, Nepal Electricity Authority and District Election Office in Palpa, damaging the window panes of the buildings, tables, chairs and computers among others. Cadres of CPN-M entered the Land Revenue Office at around 2 pm this afternoon and started vandalizing the office. Subsequently, chairs, tables and window panes of the District Election Office have been vandalized and a computer and printer were also damaged by the bandh enforcers, the office informed. Similarly, a telephone set and a computer in the room of head of the Nepali Electricity Authority (NEA) were damaged, NEA informed. Vehicles of media workers, ambulances and wedding parties were allowed for operation during the bandh.
9-point draft against national interest: CPN-Maoist
CPN-Maoist on Tuesday burnt down Monday´s nine-point draft proposal worked among the major parties claiming the agreement as anti-national. Addressing a gathering in Kathmandu after its nationwide shutdown, Maoist leaders said the party will continue its protests until the parties change their mind of a chief justice-led government. “The nine-point agreement is against national interest. The parties plan to form a chief justice-led government on cue from imperialists and expansionists,” said the party´s secretary Dev Gurung addressing the gathering after its general shutdown in Kathmandu.
He also torched a copy of the draft proposal. He also said that the plan by UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) to install the chief justice as head of the government will turn Nepal into Sikkim. He also alleged that Shital Niwas, the president´s office, has turned into a playground of traitors. Addressing the gathering, Matrika Yadav, coordinator of the CPN (Maoist), alleged that UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai are main stooges and the leaders of Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and UDMF are secondary stooges of the foreign forces.
Similarly, CPN (United) leader Pari Thapa said Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi was responsible for the demise of the Constituent Assembly and UCPN (Maoist), NC and UML were the main culprits. He also claimed that the parties will not be able to conduct CA election. Mani Thapa, the chief of the Revolutionary Communist Party, echoed Matrika Yadav and urged people and nationalist forces to be ready to save country.
Addressing the gathering, senior journalist Yuba Raj Ghimire urged Prime Minister Bhattarai to tell the country who holds the keys of the country. He also urged UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Dahal to tell the country who the foreign master is. Earlier, Prime Minister Bhattarai had said keys of the country are not in Nepal and Dahal had said he resigned as prime minister as he refused to surrender to the foreign master. CPN-Maoist plans to present a memorandum to the president against the 9-point draft proposal on Wednesday and stage sit-in at Lainchaur.
Bandh cripples life in city‚ six vehicles vandalised
KATHMANDU: The dawn-to-dusk shutdown called by CPN-Maoist to protest the proposed interim administration led by the Chief Justice, and the government move to revive war-era cases and prosecute their cadres on the charge of murdering Dekendra Thapa, brought life to a grinding halt in Kathmandu today.
Vehicles stayed off the road and academic institutions as well as business establishments, markets and industries remained shut as Maoist cadres enforced the daylong band demanding a government led by parties and unconditional release of their cadres who are in judicial custody in Dailekh. Despite the party’s earlier commitment to allow ambulances and press vehicles on the road, the angry mob vandalised six vehicles in Valley. SSP Hemant Bahadur Pal, spokesperson at Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s Office, said the bandh enforcers had vandalised a van of Kantipur Publications, a van of Sagarmatha Television, a microbus of Gangalal Heart Centre, a bus, a taxi and a car.
Hundreds of passengers on their way to Kathmandu were stranded in the highways due to the bandh. Employees working in government offices and private companies were forced to walk to their work places. Bandh enforcers had gathered in almost all major chowks of the city and inner roads to make the strike successful. The agitators took out protest rallies from different parts. SSP Pal said 10 suspects — eight in Kathmandu and two in Lalitpur — were arrested for vandalism. Police had stepped up security to prevent loss of life and property during the bandh. Officials said cops did not clash with demonstrators and injury was not reported. The bandh lasted from 6:00 am till 5:00 pm.
Academic sector hit hard
KATHMANDU: The academic sector was largely affected today due to the bandh. Most schools and colleges in the Valley remained closed. Around eight million school students and millions of university students were deprived of their right to education. The bandh violated the government’s declaration of ‘School as a Zone of Peace.’ The government had earlier announced that in any kind of protest, strike or bandh, school vehicles and ambulances would be allowed to ply the roads, but bandh enforcers made a mockery of this declaration. Third year Bachelor level students had to walk for miles to reach their exam centres.
Scores of CPN-M cadres arrested for vandalism
KATHMANDU:Police have arrested a total of 19 cadres of the CPN-Maoist for enforcing Tuesday’s bandh and engaging in vandalism across the nation. Seven of them were arrested from the capital. Though the party claimed that the bandh remained peaceful, it was reported that a number of vehicles were vandalised in the capital during the bandh, According to the police, the protestors vandalised a staff bus (Ba 4 Cha 8101) of Gangalal Hospital and a microbus (Ba 1 Kha 1771) in Jorpati. Likewise, protesters pelted stones targeting a taxi (Ba 1 Ja 1538) at Nayabazar in which the taxi driver sustained a serious head injury in the incident. The taxi subsequently hit a pedestrian making the situation bad to worse.
Meanwhile, the protesters vandalised a contact office of Purbanchal University located in Sinamangal. Four window panes have been smashed. The protesters also vandalised furniture at an office of the Agriculture Development Bank, Putalisadak branch. Staff vans of Kantipur Publications (Ba 8 Cha 821) and Sagaramatha Television (Ba 5 Cha 8727) also fell prey to vandals during today’s bandh after the demonstrators targeted the press vans in Bujulibazar this morning. A car was also vandalised near Shankhamul Bridge, police said.
Gurung threatens CPN-M boycott of polls under CJ
KATHMANDU: CPN-Maoist Secretary Dev Gurung termed the purported government led by the Chief Justice an unconstitutional adding his party will reject the polls to be held by the CJ led government. Leader Gurung charged that the CJ’s leadership is the brainchild of foreign forces which is against the national sovereignty and politically, it is intended to haul the nation into party-less regression.
Talking to reporters at Reporters Club here on Tuesday, he said “This proposal cannot be acceptable for us at any cost.” He went on to insist that the proposal is completely unconstitutional as per the constitution. Amendment of the constitution cannot be carried out in absence of the parliament; he said claiming that the CJ’s leadership was proposed not to let the elections be held but it is a trick to remain in power.
Stating that his party cannot accept any agreements until Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai tenders resignation from his post, leader Gurung said that discussion can be made regarding the fresh polls if the new proposal will be carried out after the resignation of the Prime Minister. He further said that the protest against the government that had been commenced by his party will continue further until the resignation of the Prime Minister.