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Nepal steps up security ahead of constitution promulgation protested by minority groups

  • Nepalese policemen stand guard as activists of Nepal's Madhesi group protest against the new constitution outside the Constituent Assembly hall in Kathmandu, Nepal, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. Various ethnic groups and Madhesi political parties are protesting against the new constitution saying it discriminates or denies rights to their respective communities and is a conspiracy against ethnicity-based federalism. Nepal’s President Ram Baran Yadav will announce the new constitution on Sept. 20 in a ceremony expected to be attended by members of parliament, cabinet members, members of constitutional bodies, high ranking Nepal’s security forces and members of the diplomatic community. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

    Nepalese policemen stand guard as activists of Nepal's Madhesi group protest against the new constitution outside the Constituent Assembly hall in Kathmandu, Nepal, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. Various ethnic groups and Madhesi political parties are protesting against the new constitution saying it discriminates or denies rights to their respective communities and is a conspiracy against ethnicity-based federalism. Nepal’s President Ram Baran Yadav will announce the new constitution on Sept. 20 in a ceremony expected to be attended by members of parliament, cabinet members, members of constitutional bodies, high ranking Nepal’s security forces and members of the diplomatic community. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)  (The Associated Press)

  • Activists of Nepal's Madhesi group protest against the new constitution outside the Constituent Assembly hall in Kathmandu, Nepal, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. Various ethnic groups and Madhesi political parties are protesting against the new constitution saying it discriminates or denies rights to their respective communities and is a conspiracy against ethnicity-based federalism. Nepal’s President Ram Baran Yadav will announce the new constitution on Sept. 20 in a ceremony expected to be attended by members of parliament, cabinet members, members of constitutional bodies, high ranking Nepal’s security forces and members of the diplomatic community. Paper reads, "Long Live Ethnic Madhesi community".  (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

    Activists of Nepal's Madhesi group protest against the new constitution outside the Constituent Assembly hall in Kathmandu, Nepal, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. Various ethnic groups and Madhesi political parties are protesting against the new constitution saying it discriminates or denies rights to their respective communities and is a conspiracy against ethnicity-based federalism. Nepal’s President Ram Baran Yadav will announce the new constitution on Sept. 20 in a ceremony expected to be attended by members of parliament, cabinet members, members of constitutional bodies, high ranking Nepal’s security forces and members of the diplomatic community. Paper reads, "Long Live Ethnic Madhesi community". (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)  (The Associated Press)

  • Activists of Nepal's Madhesi group protest outside the Constituent Assembly hall in Kathmandu, Nepal, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. Various ethnic groups and Madhesi political parties are protesting against the new constitution saying it discriminates or denies rights to their respective communities and is a conspiracy against ethnicity-based federalism. Nepal’s President Ram Baran Yadav will announce the new constitution on Sept. 20 in a ceremony expected to be attended by members of parliament, cabinet members, members of constitutional bodies, high ranking Nepal’s security forces and members of the diplomatic community. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

    Activists of Nepal's Madhesi group protest outside the Constituent Assembly hall in Kathmandu, Nepal, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. Various ethnic groups and Madhesi political parties are protesting against the new constitution saying it discriminates or denies rights to their respective communities and is a conspiracy against ethnicity-based federalism. Nepal’s President Ram Baran Yadav will announce the new constitution on Sept. 20 in a ceremony expected to be attended by members of parliament, cabinet members, members of constitutional bodies, high ranking Nepal’s security forces and members of the diplomatic community. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)  (The Associated Press)

Security has been stepped up in Nepal ahead of the promulgation of the Himalayan nation's new federal constitution, which is protested by smaller political parties and ethnic groups.

Police official Kamal Singh Bam says thousands of officers are guarding the streets and passengers on highways are being checked.

Bam says police have responded to reports of bombs being found in Kathmandu but they all turned out to be a hoax.

Security is also high around the Constituent Assembly building in the capital, where president will promulgate the new constitution later Sunday.

Opposition parties called a general strike to protest the constitution but it had little effect on the traffic.

Sunday and Monday are public holidays.