Police have stepped up security in the Kathmandu Valley and begun thorough screening of vehicles entering the Capital through major checkpoints to avert any untoward situation during the show of strength called by the UCPN (Maoist)-led 30-party opposition alliance on Saturday.
The Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s Office has figured out 19 major points the cadres are expected to march towards Khulla Manch where top party leaders are scheduled to address the gathering.
The MPCO has listed Maitighar Mandala, Chabahil, Balaju, Kalimati and Lagankhel as the points from where the UCPN cadres are likely to kick off their demonstrations while the Sanghiya Samajwadi Party will march from Swayambhu, Dallu and Basantapur. Similarly, many other parties have decided to begin their stir from Tripureshwor, Babarmahal and Koteshwor, among other areas.
Senior Superintendent of Police Narayan Singh Khadka, spokesperson for the MPCO, said police personnel have already been deployed at these points. “We will make sure that the marching will not enter the restricted zones. Also, all the sticks and weapons will be seized,” Khadka said.
He said cadres entering the Valley are being thoroughly screened in major checkpoints, including Nagdhunga, Jagati, Pharping, among others. The vehicles used to ferry cadres have to be parked outside the Ring Road during day time.
A high-level meeting chaired by Secretary at the Home Ministry Surya Silwal has directed all the security agencies to remain on high alert throughout the day on Saturday.
The meeting was attended by Chief District Officers of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur and chief of Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and National Investigation Department.
“The agencies have developed their security plans. We have instructed them to implement it earnestly,” said Laxmi Dhakal, the ministry spokesperson.
Meanwhile, the District Administration Office has issued nine prohibited zones inside the Kathmandu Valley. Among such zones on the DAO listed are the residential area of President and Vice-president and prime minister, areas near Singha Durbar and Maitighar Mandala, Constituent Assembly building in New Baneshwor.
All images by: Anish Gajurel