In a big show of force, thousands of Maoists supporters led by their top leaders on Thursday laid siege to 'Singhdurbar Secretariat' in Nepal's capital Kathmandu demanding an end to the rule of the present coalition government.
Maoists protesters started moving towards 'Singhdurbar Secretariat', the seat of the government, since dawn and bus load of more supporters were arriving into the city for one of the biggest anti-government protest since t he former rebels lost power in May.
The Maoists protesters were led by their chief Pushpakamal Dahal 'Prachanda' and top leader Mohan Vaidya 'Kiran', who said their campaign was to maintain "civilian supremacy" and to dislodge the present coalition.
"We are out to achieve true people's rule," Vaidya told his supporters.
He said the party was hoping to mobilise more than three lakh people for the protest which would continue till tomorrow.
Besides Prachanda and Vaidya other senior Maoist leaders including Baburam Bhattari, Narayan Kaji Shrestha, C. P. Gajurl and Krishna Bahadur Mahara led the rallies from eight sides to surround government secretariat which lies in the heart of the city.
Thousands of riot policemen were deployed around the government secretariat to prevent the Maoists from entering into the restricted area.
Demonstrators prevented officials from entering the office complex but some of the officers managed to sneak in as the government had told them to report for duty early.
Prachanda, who quit in May after the fall of his government, said the protest would continue until the party's demand for the government and President's were met.
"It is our duty as law abiding citizens to come to the rescue of the country and that's why we have gathered here in such large numbers," he said.
Waving red flags, the Maoists protesters chanted slogans 'down with the puppet government', 'resign puppet government', 'President take back unconstitutional action'.
To avoid confrontation the government on Wednesday withdrew orders to extend restricted area around the government secretariat.
The Maoists were determined not to allow even a single civil servant into the Singhdurbar complex which houses all the ministries and most of government departments.
Meanwhile, a Maoist cadre was killed and 55 others injured as a bus ferrying Maoist cadres from Tanahu district towards Kathmandu met with an accident at Ambu Khaireni in western Nepal. Ten others were reported serious.
Almost all schools and colleges were closed due to fear of clashes, though the rally remained peaceful till now. PTI