Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, February 12

The one-day general strike called by the three sister organisations of the CPN (Maoists) passed off peacefully, with no untoward incident reported from anywhere. Three underground organisations including Madhesi Liberation Front, Newa Liberation Front and Tamang Liberation Front had jointly called the bandh in Janakpur, Narayani and Bagmati zones today.

Their strike was called to demand information on whereabouts of their cadres arrested by the security forces. In Kathmandu valley, the bandh was absolutely peaceful. A few taxis and tempos plied but these took care to keep their number plates covered. Most of the main markets remained closed while small shops along the inner rings of the city markets did good business.

Schools and colleges were closed. Government offices reported thin attendance as daily commuters were unable to arrive on account of the lack of public vehicles.

However, Sajha buses and electric-powered buses that plied were crammed beyond capacity. Five, instead of the usual three trolleys buses were pressed into service to serve stranded people.

Rickshaw pullers and street vendors did roaring business, earning at least double than the daily usual. Security was unprecendtedly beefed up today to counter possible violent activities by the pro-Maoist groups.