…and President denies Maoist allegation
The two-day Singhadurbar gherao of the Maoist ended today peacefully with their chairman Prachanda issuing a threat against the government that his party would start intensified third phase of the movement in a week (20 Nov) if their demands were not met. Wrapping up their picket from Singhadurbar, the official seat of the government of Nepal, the Maoist cadres from different entry points of the sprawling complex marched towards the exhibition road to listen to Prachanda. The Maoist had brought thousands of cadres from different parts of Nepal before the crack of the dawn.
Ministers and several top bureaucrats including the Home minister Bhim Rawal, reportedly reached at his office at 6 am to avoid the blockade. But public transportation was largely affected in the capital. General people were forced to rush towards their destinations a few hours earlier as its uncertain what’s going to happen next. Thousands of police were deployed at different parts of the city. Yesterday some cadres clashed with police personnel after, what the police said, they tried to overstep the prohibited area, leaving around one hundred persons injured.
The Maoists began their first phase of protest on 1 November demanding the president’s apology for his move to reinstate the then army chief, which they say, was unconstitutional move. Protesting the presidential move, the then Prime Minister Prachanda had resigned. Ever since the former rebels have been agitated to establish what they call ‘civilian supremacy’, a term that is controversial given their intention of what many believe establishing their own supremacy over the national army.
Meanwhile President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav today Friday claimed that he has been faithful to the Interim Constitution and has not violated it unlike the Maoists have charged. He urged the political parties to stick to the law of the land. President said he has not breached the constitution, and will not do that in the coming days also. “I’ve followed the constitutional norms in the past. I’m still loyal to it and will continue to remain this way,” he said, speaking at the inaugural of the Mechi Eye Hospital in Birtamod of Jhapa.
“Finding solutions to the problems through people-elected representatives is what democracy is all about,” said President Yadav. Stating there is no room for violence, he added that the political forces should follow the spirit of the Interim Constitution. The Maoists called imposed an abrupt shutdown in the district today to affect the President’s arrival in Jhapa. They halted traffic movement throughout the district from early morning to protest the president’s arrival. President Dr. Yadav landed at the hospital premises on a Nepal Army chopper.