Kathmandu violence explained: Pro 'Hindu Nation' mob clashes with communists | 10 points

Stones were pelted and vehicles were damaged in Kathmandu after the clashes

nepal-protests-reuters A riot police personal gets a hit on his helmet during the clash with Pro-monarchist protesters in Nepal | Reuters

The streets of Kathmandu witnessed sporadic violence after the youth of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist) clashed with the supporters of controversial businessman Durga Prasai. Traffic was halted and Nepal Police was forced to use physical force to disperse the rivalling groups who violently engaged each other in the streets of the capital city. Stones were pelted and vehicles were rampaged on a day that witnessed separate pre-planned marches by the two opposing fronts in Kathmandu leading to violence.

What is happening in Nepal? Who is Durga Prasai -- taking on the might of the country's ruling communist party? Here is breaking down the developments so far in 10 points. 

1. Who is Durga Prasai? Businessman Durga Prasai heads the ‘Nation, Nationality, Religion-Culture and Citizen Rescue Campaign,’ which works with the agenda of toppling the Left regime in Nepal. According to Nepalese media reports, Durga Prasai's motive is to reinstate the monarchy in Nepal and establish a Hindu Kingdom.

2. According to the Kathmandu Post, Prasai had declared that Thursday’s protest would be historic in the push towards overthrowing the present government.

nepal-protests-reuters (1) Pro-monarchist protesters hurdle stones at cops. | Reuters

3. CPN-UML leaders and Durga Prasai have been at war for quite some time now. Heated statements were exchanged at each other for months and Thursday's clashes in Kathmandu are said to be the culmination of the development.

4. A history of love and hate: Prasai and the communists in Nepal are friends turned foes.

5. It was after splitting paths with the CPN-UML that Prasai started his controversial campaign to reinstate monarchy and a Hindu state in Nepal, the Kathmandu Post reported.

6. In an effort to win over the citizens of Nepal, Prasai has alleged that UML supremo Sharma Oli owns property worth billions of rupees abroad and has investments in Cambodia. Oli, reportedly hit back by challenging him to present the proof for the claim. 

nepal-protests-reuters (2) Pro-monarchist protesters gather in Kathmandu. | Reuters

7. The development took an ugly turn when the UML's Youth Association Nepal (YAN) smeared black soot on Prasai on October 9.

8. What happened on Thursday? Things got out of hand in the capital city after CPN-UML’s youth wing and supporters of  Prasai came face to face in the Balkhu region. According to media reports, trouble began when Prasai’s supporters pelted stones at a motorcycle rally by the communist party cadres.

9. Not only the two-wheelers used by the demonstrators but those parked on the roadside were also damaged by the pro-monarchy mob, reports said. Teargas and water cannons were used by the cops to disperse Prasai's supporters. 

10. What is the current situation in Kathmandu?  Since both factions had declared separate demonstrations on Thursday, traffic diversions were already in place. The police had made arrangements in such a way that two groups could hold their respective programmes in separate parts of the city. However, the cops told media that things got out of hand when the pro-monarchy crowd tried to cross the area fixed for their demonstration.

nepal-police-reuters Riot police personnel take cover as they clash with Pro-monarchist protesters. | Reuters

The situation was brought under control after police units in riot gear interfered, videos showed. Education institutions and commercial activities were affected due to the demonstrations and violence. The Nepal Police have reportedly accused Prasai of inciting the crowd.


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