Thousands of Maoist activists took to the streets of Nepal's capital Thursday for one of the biggest anti-government protests since the former fighters lost power in May.
Chanting "Down with the puppet government" and waving red flags, the protesters surrounded the main government complex in the heart of Kathmandu and blocked off all entrances to the area.
Maoist supporters waving hammer and sickle flags sat on roads leading to the Singha Durbar or "lion's palace", a complex that houses most major government buildings.
The protest was mostly peaceful but police lobbed tear gas at some demonstrators and at least one Maoist member of parliament was injured in clashes with police. The protest is due to end on Friday.
The Maoists won landmark elections in Nepal last year and abolished the monarchy, but their government fell after just eight months when the president overruled their attempt to sack the head of the army.
"The civilian supremacy has been hijacked ... our protests will continue until the president's move is corrected," Prachanda, who still goes by his war nom de guerre, said as he led the protest in the heart of the capital.
The former guerrillas, who fought a 10-year civil war against the state that ended in 2006, now want the president to apologise for blocking the army chief's removal -- a move they say was unconstitutional.
Party leaders have said they hope to mobilise at least 300,000 people for the two-day protest, which will continue on Friday, and more than 2,000 riot police have been deployed in the capital.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Kasım 2009, 12:45
Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal was unwell and resting at home, according to an aide Bishnu Rijal.