Maoist dissidents threaten Nepal shutdown

Kathmandu, May 5 (IANS) A group of Maoist dissidents, who broke away from the parent party accusing it of having betrayed the cause of the revolution, has announced a general strike across Nepal May 24, four days ahead of a critical constitutional deadline.

The group calls itself the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), a name that was originally the Maoist guerrillas’ when they fought a 10-year armed insurrection from 1996.

But after signing a peace accord and accepting a merger with fringe communist parties, the Maoists renamed themselves the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).

The dissidents had been part of the insurrection and their chief, Matrika Prasad Yadav, had been a Maoist lawmaker as well as minister who resigned in protest and was stripped of his parliamentary seat when he announced the formation of the splinter group.

Now the splinter group has called a Nepal shutdown May 24 to be followed by an indefinite shutdown from May 28.

Issuing a statement, the group said it was submitting a list of 28 demands to Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal. If the demands were not addressed immediately, it would resort to the general strikes.

Details about the demands were not known immediately.

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