Nepal: Maoist students protest against India

Pro-Maoist students close to faction led by Mohan Vaidya `Kiran` protested against "direct intervention of India" in Nepalese politics.

Kathmandu: Pro-Maoist students close to the hardliner faction led by Mohan Vaidya `Kiran` have staged a demonstration here against alleged Indian interference in the formation of a national government in Nepal.

The protesters briefly clashed with the police while organising a torch lit rally at Ratnapark and Kamaladi area in the heart of the capital last evening, eye-witnesses said.

They also obstructed traffic for an hour to show their protest against what they called "direct intervention of India" in Nepalese politics.

"We protest India`s direct interference in our internal issues," said Ratna Dhakal, central committee member of the All Nepal National Independence Students Union- Revolutionary.

"We condemn Indian interference in any sector of our country."

The student union has planned a series of protest programmes, which will be publicised today, he said.

He alleged that the dissolution of Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai`s cabinet and formation of a national government under him has been done with direct interference of India.

The protesters claimed that a senior Indian diplomat was present during the four-party meeting consisting of top leaders belonging to UCPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and the Joint Democratic Madhesi Front that decided to dissolve the Bhattarai-led cabinet and form a unity government.

Meanwhile, CPN-UML, the third largest party in the Constituent Assembly, has decided not to join the national government under Bhattarai.

During a high-level meeting, the party accused "the Maoists of deviating from the spirit of consensus”.

In the meantime, the general strike that crippled life in far-west Nepal continued in 11th day today. Educational institutions, factories and markets were closed and transport services were affected.

The agitators of far-west have been demanding more rights and representation and undivided far-west region in the new Constitution. They have also ignored the call made by three major parties to call off the strike.