Ameet Dhakal

KATHMANDU: Kathmandu Valley on Wednesday remained shut to protest the killing of a businessman, who was earlier abducted by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Vehicles stayed off the road, businesses remained shut and education institutions were closed. Protest rallies were held in different parts of the city. Protesters clashed with members of the Maoists’ youth wing, Young Communist League. Family members of Ram Hari Shrestha, who died in a PLA cantonment during “interrogation”, had called for a strike in the Kathmandu Valley, demanding the formation of a high-level judicial probe commission to investigate the incident.

Public pressure

Bowing to pressure, Maoist Chairman Prachanda on Wednesday issued a statement urging the government to form a probe commission. “Our party is committed to provide all kinds of support to such a probe,” said the statement. Mr. Prachanda also said he was ready to hold a “positive” dialogue with Shrestha’s family.

Earlier, Mr. Prachnda had issued a statement saying Shrestha was killed by “selfish” individuals who had infiltrated the party.