Nepal police arrest protesters over nationwide shutdown

KATHMANDU (DPA) - Nepalese police on Tuesday (June 25) arrested two people for attempting to impose a shutdown called by an outlawed Maoist group after one of its members was killed in the country's south-east.

The splinter group on Tuesday shut markets, schools and factories across the country.

The group called the strike after one of its members was shot dead by police in the south-east district of Sarlahi last week.

While the group claimed its member had not attacked the police, the country's home ministry said that the man was killed during an exchange of fire.

"We have arrested two people who were enforcing the shutdown," said police spokesman Bishwa Raj Pokharel.

Shops and schools were closed and there was not much traffic on the streets of Kathmandu on Tuesday.

Authorities have blamed the Maoist group for the twin blasts in Kathmandu which killed four people and left five others wounded late last month.

The main Maoist faction is part of the current ruling coalition in Nepal. Maoist rebels fought an armed insurgency against state security forces between 1996 and 2006 that killed more than 16,000 people.

A peace accord was signed in November 2006.