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Rediff.com  » News » Nepal on the boil again, Maoists take over Kathmandu

Nepal on the boil again, Maoists take over Kathmandu

Last updated on: December 16, 2009 18:37 IST
Maoists on Wednesday announced the seizure of the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, declaring it an autonomous region, after storming into heavily-guarded Durbar Square, in a development that could trigger a new political confrontation.

Waving red flags, 5000 militant cadres forced their way into the Durbar Square city centre where their chief Prachanda declared Kathmandu valley as the Newa Autonomous State.

The Maoists, who have already announced formation of parallel governments in nine districts and paid little heed to warnings by the Nepali Congress, to desist from such tactics as it may lead to "biggest political and social confrontation".

Though the Maoist takeover was more of a symbolic nature, their choice of the capital city sent shockwaves in the ruling CPN-UML-led 22-party alliance.

Prachanda lit a traditional lamp to declare Kathmandu as Newa Autonomous State by flying a banner that read 'Newa Autonomous State' as hundreds of balloons were let off.

A gun salute was also given and the city declared an autonomous state amidst performance of traditional music.

"Our move is not intended to disrupt the peace process or block the constitution making task," Prachanda pro-claimed adding it was to "make people aware about federalism and strengthen the republican system."
Shirish B Pradhan in Kathmandu