Maoists accused of breaching Peace Agreement in Nepal

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Kathmandu, Dec 21 (ANI): Nepal Government has said the violence that occurred during the first day of the UCPN (Maoist) nationwide strike in which at least 24 people were injured and over 37 were arrested, will pose a serious threat to the ongoing peace process.

A high-level meeting convened by Home Minister Bhim Rawal, which included Cabinet ministers and police officials last evening said that the Maoists had breached the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

"The nature of violent activities carried out by Maoist activists is a breach of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The intensification of such acts will put the peace process in peril," Rawal said.

He further appealed to the Maoists to withdraw their nationwide strike.

However, Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai accused the government of acting against the Interim Constitution by using excessive force against the demonstrators and said the three-day shutdown continue.

He also demanded the release of Maoist supporters taken into custody and free treatment for the injured.

Meanwhile, normal life continues to be adversely affected on the second day of the general strike on Monday.

Cadres of UCPN (Maoist) and its sister organizations gathered in various places to impose the shutdown.

Both private and public vehicles remained off the roads. Over 16 vehicles were vandalised by protesters in Kathmandu and outside districts.

Shops and shopping malls in downtown Kathmandu and major squares have remained shut, while few retail stores and tea-shops in the interior parts of the city are open.

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Nepal has also expressed serious concern about the violence that erupted on Sunday.

This is the third strike called by the former rebels within a month, demanding restoration of "civilian supremacy" and rectification of President Ram Baran Yadav's move to reinstate the then army chief Rukmangad Katwal that had led to the fall of the Maoist Government, Nepalnews reports. (ANI)

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