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General strike called to protest new draft of constitution cripples daily life in Nepal

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KATHMANDU, Nepal — A general strike imposed by smaller political parties protesting a proposed new constitution that would split Nepal into six federal states crippled daily life across the Himalayan nation Monday.

Markets and schools remained closed across the country on Monday while highways were deserted.

In the capital Kathmandu, government workers walked to work while most private offices remained closed. There were only a few vehicles on the streets.

Security has been stepped up with riot police guarding key areas in Kathmandu.

Monday is the second day of the two-day general strike. Police detained 117 protesters on Sunday but it was mostly peaceful on Monday.

The protesters disagree with the plan to set up six federal states as decided by the major political parties in the constitution draft that is expected to be voted on later this month in the Constituent Assembly.

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