FROM ISSUE #282 (20 JAN 2006 - 26 JAN 2006) | TABLE OF CONTENTS
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The central part of Kathmandu remained tensed on Saturday as protestors clashed with security policemen and the government later said around 200 demonstrators had been arrested. Opposition parties have claimed that the arrest figure is much higher. They had tried to hold a mass meeting at the same Basantapur Dabali nearby Hanumandhoka Darbar Square where they were supposed to gather on Friday. The daytime curfew had kept them from doing so yesterday while security personnel foiled their plan today. The protestors therefore brought out rallies in small groups and chanted pro-democracy slogans in and around Basantapur and New road area. The clashes took place as protestors tried to gather in Basantapur area for the planned mass meet. Demonstrators hurled stones and brickbats while security personnel shot back canisters of teargas. Officials said protestors had been arrested because they had demonstrated in prohibited areas. Among those arrested are some leaders of the seven parties that have been protesting the February 1 royal takeover. Top leaders including Nepali Congress president Girija Prasad Koirala and UML general secretary Madhab Kumar Nepal have been kept under house arrest. The government has placed several leaders under house arrest, banned demonstrations and imposed curfew within Ring Road claiming that the Maoists had infiltrated the parties\' protests. The parties have dismissed that and have said that the government has been shaken by what they say growing people\'s support for the protests.