Amid a fresh curfew, the trial of strength continues betweeen Nepal’s monarch and its people.
Security forces have stepped up efforts to keep protesters out of the capital. However, thousands have been converging on Kathmandu, in defiance of the restrictions. Yesterday, over 100,000 demonstrators broke into the city centre from the outskirts. The military is under orders to ensure that does not happen again. Some marching on Saturday demanded democracy. Others called for the end of the monarchy. One group even urged police and soldiers to shoot the king. But so far security forces remain loyal. Yesterday they shot at protesters. Tear gas was also fired, as British tourist Ian Chalmers testified. “What we saw was a very peaceful protest,” he said. “Towards the back of that, there was all of a sudden, tear gas came flying in and there is a stampede of people, chaos, absolute pandemonium. Everyone runs all over the place.” At least 150 people were wounded in the police action and the stampede, according to witnesses and political activists. More than a dozen people have been killed since the pro-democracy campaign began and today several people were reportedly injured by fresh police fire.