Thousands of protesters have stormed into city centre breaking through security cordon and defying the government imposed curfew. The crowd is reportedly moving towards Narayanhiti royal palace. Police reportedly tried to halt a march near the palace, firing rubber bullets, tear gas and charging batons.
Similarly police have fired rubber bullets at Dillibajar, Koteswore and Chabahil area to stop marches moving towards Ratna Park to pay tribute to those killed in the last 17 days. Over five thousand people marched from Patan towards Baneswor shouting pro-democracy slogans. "Act now for democracy, delay and we will demand a republic," the crowds chanted. Soldiers blocked roads with tanks in front of the Bagmati Bridge but the protesters moved proudly past and the security forces eventually moved away and let them pass. Later the armed police and RNA stood on the sides watching as the protesters moved ahead.
Violence was reported in Tripureswor where at least eight people were injured when security forces opened fire to stop the crowd from moving towards Tundikhel. Thousands of protesters walked for hours to reach Tripureswor from Bhaktapur and surrounding areas. The crowds dispersed as security forces moved in but they were all later joined by a march of over five thousand people who came down from Patan and headed towards Singha Darbar.
Meanwhile, the seven party alliance has rejected King Gyanendra's offer to form a government. The opposition parties argue that the royal offer did not address the issues raised by them. According to himalkhabar.com, NC spokesperson Krishna Situatula said, "If the king does not address the agenda put forward by the seven party alliance in 24 hours, we will be compelled to form a parallel government and move ahead." They have also vowed to continue with the movement until all their demands are met. Earlier, protesters stood outside G P Koirala's residence where the seven party alliance meeting was taking palce warning, "Royal proclamation is farce, leaders beware." Similarly, the Maoists, have also rejected the royal offe. According to them the royal address 'has no significance because those who are participating in the movement have asked for a republic'. -- END--