Nepali Times
Indian special envoys to visit; Madhab Nepal’s release postponed

A team lead by Dr Karna Singh special envoy of Indian Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh is arriving in Kathmandu tomorrow to meet King Gyanendra. Among other officials in the team will be former foreign minister and leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party Jaswant Singh and foreign secretary Shyam Sharan.

Meanwhile General Secretary of the Communist Party of Nepal (UML) Madhab Kumar Nepal who was expected to be released today by order of the Supreme Court will only be released tomorrow according to highly placed sources in the Home Ministry. Nepal was already under house arrest since 19 January when the authorities arrested him from his residence on 23 March. The court also ordered the government to present the 20 journalists who were arrested and served 90 day stay orders yesterday.

Protests continued throughout the day in various parts of the country. In Pokhara curfew has been announced for tomorrow from 8AM to 9PM after protestors stormed the prohibited zones after which security personnel fired at them causing three serious injuries. The CPN UML has also said that at least two dozen of their party people have also been injured in the clash.

The protests which are slowly gaining mass support in different parts of the country were particularly violent in Giaghat of Udaypur district and Nepalgunj of Banke district. In Gaighat police fired and baton charged a rally of thousands severely injuring six people. 200 are reported to have sustained minor injuries in the clash. In Nepalgunj police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protestors who vandalized the King Gyanendra chok where a statue of the king was to be built.

Thousands came out in support of the restoration of democracy and return of power to the people in Kaski, Kalikot, Ilam, Dharan, Dhankuta, Sunsari, Dolakha, Dhading, Birgunj, Chitwan, Rupandehi, and Kavre.

In the Kathmandu Valley most of the protests were peaceful except for one incidence in Buddhanagar near New Baneswore where police firing at protestors led to one teacher who was not involved in the protest getting injured. A few other protestors also sustained minor injuries. Civil servants of the Home Ministry who protested against the government inside Singha Darbar today morning were arrested by the police who did not free them even after the home secretary ordered them to do so saying they had orders from higher up not to. Protests were also held in Kirtipur, Patan, Chabahil, Gongabu and other locations inside the Valley.

King Gyanendra meanwhile has continued meeting leaders of various political parties. Pashupati Shamsher Rana, chairman of the other Rashtriya Prajatantra Party who was one of the four to be given an audience today said the king gave a positive response. Marich Man Singh, Badri Prasad Mandal, and Lokendra Bahadur Chand also met the king today.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)