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PM’s party on rampage, calls Nepal closure
Kathmandu, Jun 16 (IANS):
Published on 16 Jun. 2011 10:24 PM IST
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Nepal Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal’s party men went on the rampage Thursday, clashing with police, burning vehicles and announcing a countrywide general strike Friday to pressure police into releasing one of their leaders wanted for a murderous attack on a journalist.
The Youth Force, the youth wing of Nepal’s ruling Communist party, began attacking vehicles in the capital as well as eastern Biratnagar town Thursday to pressure police into releasing Mahesh Basnet.
Basnet was arrested in the morning from a restaurant after public and media outrage mounted against him following an attack on Nepali journalist Khilanath Dhakal, who named Basnet as the mastermind.
Though police had arrested two other attackers, Basnet had remained untouched, reportedly due to his political clout.
It led to severe criticism of the four-month-old government and Home Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara, who belongs to the Maoist party. Mahara and his party are said to be seeking to withdraw more than 300 criminal cases police started against Maoists, including murder.
As news of Basnet’s arrest spread, Youth Force cadre went on the rampage, forcing the local administration to clamp prohibitory orders in Biratnagar till 9 p.m.
Police clashed with protesters in front of a college campus in Kathmandu as well, causing over two dozen students to be arrested.
Youth Force leaders have accused police of brutality and indiscriminately beating up students inside the Shankar Dev College Campus.
They said besides the general strike Friday, they will keep up protests till Mahara tendered an apology for the police “brutality”.

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