Hundreds of demonstrators were arrested in Nepal
on Friday April 7th after students pitched street
battles with police, hurling stones and setting the
central post office on fire.
Home minister, Kamal Thapa, said that 751 people had
been arrested and 115 were taken to prison under a
tough public safety law that allows authorities to
jail people without charge for 90 days.
"The government is using minimum force to control the
situation. The government has made adequate
arrangements to ensure the security of the people.
There is no need for people to be scared and we are
doing what we can to foil the protest," he told the AP
The protests happened on the second day of a strike
called by an alliance of seven political parties to
protest against King Gyanendra, who seized power a
Police fought the protestors with tear gas and batons.
Students at Kathmandu's Tribhuwan University ransacked
the dean's office and briefly took several officers
King Gyanendra responded to the crisis by calling for
calm. "Let us all pledge today to devote time for
establishing permanent peace," he said on a speech
broadcast on national television.
The strike has shut down public transport in the city
and hundreds of people were forced to walk to work.
Shops and schools were shut, with only ambulances and
security vehicles on the roads.
Days before the strike, the government banned all
forms of public protest in Kathmandu.
King Gyanendra says he was forced to seize power in
February last year because of the growing communist
insurgency, which has left some 13,000 people dead
since 1996. He has been under international pressure
to restore democracy.
I also heard on the TV news on Saturday April 8 that one
person was shot and killed on the West side of Katmandu
Please pray for the safety of the public in Nepal and for
the protection of Tibetan Buddhist monks and monestaries.
When I traveled to Kathmandu a year ago in February the
president had just opened the airport after 2 weeks of
closure and the phone service to the town had been
suspended. At that time there were riot police in evidence
everywhere. Now the situation has escalated again and I
believe it to be very serious!
Please share any first hand news you might know about the
current situation in the comments.