A nationwide general strike enforced by opposition political parties has crippled life in Nepal, as protesters clashed with police and set vehicles on fire in the capital.

The alliance of 30 opposition parties is demanding the Himalayan nation's new constitution draft be passed by a national consensus. The ruling coalition has been attempting to get the draft approved through a vote in parliament after negotiations failed with the opposition.

Protesters and police clashed in Kathmandu, the capital, on Tuesday, the first day of the three-day strike. Riot police fired tear gas shells, while the protesters retaliated by throwing stones. The demonstrators also set a taxi and a motorcycle on fire.

Schools were closed and markets shuttered across Nepal. Highways were deserted, with protesters allowing only emergency vehicles on the roads.