After the decision made by the seven party alliance to intensify their nationwide general strike this weekend, businesses and educational institutions remained closed for the 11th consecutive day.
According to latest reports protests continued in Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur today. Over 20 journalists were arrested in Bhotahiti and 12 others were arrested at Anamnagar where police thwarted a peaceful rally organised by the indigenous community. Three tourism entrepreneurs were also arrested from a peaceful rally at Thamel today. The streets in Kathmandu were empty as public vehicles remained off the road.
Clashes between protestors and police were just reported in Mangalbajar, where security forces used a couple of rounds of teargas shells to disperse the crowd. Over 2,000 protestors attended the rally that went from Patan, Gwarko, Satdobato and then back to Mangalbajar. Similarly a crowd of about 50 students burnt an effigy of King Gyanendra in front of Ratna Rajya Campus in Putalisadak today this afternoon. Thousands are protesting in Balkhu where heavy clashes between the protestors and security forces were reported.
Earlier clashs between students and security forces were reported in Bhairahawa where the situation got out of hand as the agitated crowd vandalized the Agriculture Development Office. In Chitwan 100,000 protestors gathered early in the morning. Government employees have joined demonstrations in Chitwan and Bharatpur and security is reported to be tight.
Kathmandu Valley residents are now facing petrol and cooking gas shortages and the price of food items have started going up due to the prolonged strikes. Long lines were seen in front of Sajha Yatayat, Hariharbhawan petrol pumps today.
WEB EXCLUSIVE | PICTURE GALLERY
PEOPLES PROTEST IN PATAN: Thousands of Patan residents came out in support of the protest rally against King Gyanendra's direct rule. (PIC: ALOK TUMBAHANPHEY)
PEACEFUL PROTEST: A participant in this mornings protest called by the Indigenous People\'s Women\'s Peace Network (IPWPN) gives flowers to security personnel. (PIC: DAMBAR KRISHNA SHRESTHA)
RALLY IN A TIGHT ALLEY: The protest taken out by IPWPN in an alley in Baneswore. (PIC: DAMBAR KRISHNA SHRESTHA)
OM ESCAPED: Indigenous people's leader Om Gurung being arrested by the police. Gurung later managed to escape from the clutches of the police. (PIC: DAMBAR KRISHNA SHRESTHA)
CATCH THEM YOUNG: The children took out their own protest shouting anti king slogans after a protest rally passed by. (PIC: DAMAR KRISHNA SHRESTHA)