Protesters in Kathmandu started joining the pro-democracy demonstrations early in the morning on Friday. Today is the 16th day of pro-democracy movement organized by the seven party alliance and the second day of daytime curfew imposed by the government. Reports of demonstrations started coming in early from Gongabu, Chabahil, Baneswor and Bhaktapur. The situation is reported to be tense in Kalanki as more people come out on the streets defying curfew orders. Agitated crowd put the Land Revenue office in Kalanki on fire and have also put road obstructions on the way to Kalanki.
Over 50,000 protesters gathered in New Baneswor and are moving from Bijuli Bajar, Min Bhawan to Tinkune where they are being stopped by the security forces. This particular protest in Baneswor started at 11AM and has seen immense local support. Baneswor locals have come out on the streets beating cooking utensils, playing drums and singing pro-democracy songs. Although security forces have stopped the crowd from moving ahead in Tinkune, no violence or force has been reported.
In Chabahil over 10,000 people have gathered for a sit-in. Protests are also taking place in other places in central Kathmandu such as Asan, Bangemuda, Mahabauddha, Putalisadak and Gyaneswor. Protesters in Gwarko, Lalitpur are also trying to defy curfew and move ahead.
Seven party alliance has called for a citywide black out at 8PM tonight after the 11-hour curfew is relaxed.
Similarly, protests are reportedly taking place in Illam, Jhapa, Panchthar, Terathum, Morang, Sunsari, Itahari, Udayapur, Makwanpur, Hetauda, Janakpur, Siraha, Saptari, Dhading and Nuwakot where tens of thousands of Nepalis have come out on the streets.
Meanwhile Indian Ambassador to Nepal Shiv Shankar Mukharjee met with King Gyanendra today afternoon. On Thursday, the king held consultations with the visiting special Indian envoy Karan Singh who also delivered a letter from Indian premier, Man Mohan Singh, to the King.
According to the state-owned Nepal Television, King Gyanendra will address the nation at 7PM tonight. This will be the king\'s first address to the nation after his New Year\'s message last week. .-- END--