Maoists on Wednesday announced the seizure of Nepal capital Kathmandu. They declared it an autonomous region after storming the heavily guarded Durbar Square.
Waving red flags, 5000 militant cadres forced their way into the Durbar Square city centre where their chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal, commonly known as Prachanda declared the Kathmandu Valley as the Newa Autonomous State.
Maoists had announced the formation of parallel governments in nine districts and paid little heed to warnings by the Nepali Congress to desist from such tactics as it may lead to “biggest political and social confrontation.”
Though the Maoist takeover was more of a symbolic nature, their choice of the capital city sent shock-waves in the ruling Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist)-led 22-party alliance.
Prachanda lit a traditional lamp to declare Kathmandu as “Newa Autonomous State.”
Abolish the President’s unconstitutional move, maintain civilian supremacy, safeguard national independence and stop foreign interference were the main slogans written in placards at the venue.
A gun-salute was also given and the city declared an autonomous state amidst performance of traditional music.
Newa is the indigenous ethnic group of Kathmandu, who are known for their rich culture and tradition.
“Our move is not intended to disrupt the peace process or block the constitution making task,” Prachanda pro-claimed. It was to “make people aware about federalism and strengthen the republican system,” he said.
The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) leader claimed that “regressive forces were hatching a conspiracy against the republican system and trying to reverse the change.”
Besides Kathmandu, the other autonomous regions announced by Maoists include Kochila, Limbuwan Sherpa, Kirat, Seti-Mahakali, Bhote Lama, Bheri-Karnali and Tharuwan.