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Central & South Asia

Nepal police break up anti-government rally

Opposition supporters protesting against appointment of chief justice as caretaker PM clash with police in Kathmandu.
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2013 03:23
Protests have been held since Regmi was sworn in as prime minister on March 14 [Reuters]

Police in Nepal's capital have hit protesters with batons to break up a demonstration against the appointment of the country's chief judge as the head of an interim government.

Hundreds of opposition supporters gathered in Kathmandu on Saturday and burned an effigy of Supreme Court Chief Justice Khilraj Regmi, who was sworn in on Thursday as the head of government, tasked with holding elections in three months.

Police in riot gear used batons to beat the protesters, who threw stones at the officers.

At least six policemen and several protesters were injured, the Associated Press reported.

The country's four most prominent political parties agreed earlier in the week to make the judge the head of government.

The smaller opposition parties oppose the appointment, saying the new government should have representation from all parties.

The protest on Saturday was organised by the Baidya faction of the divided Maoist Party.

Members of the the faction have been protesting outside the Presidential Palace since Regmi was sworn in as prime minister on March 14.

Regmi was sworn in by President Ram Baran Yadav as the head of an interim government with a mandate to hold elections by June 21.

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