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Police personnel stand guard as cadres of Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal (RPP-N) protest demanding that Nepal be declared a Hindu state, referendum on some key issues to be incorporated in the new constitution including constitutional monarchy and federalism during the Sit-in-protest at Singha Durbar Durbar in Kathmandu Tuesday, February 23, 2010. Pic. 1
Last Updated : 2010-02-22 1:35 PM||Himalayan News Service
KATHMANDU: A bandh called by the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal (RPP-N), demanding re-declaring Nepal as a Hindu state, referendums on federalism and constitutional monarchy, affected normal life in the capital city today.
Owing to the bandh,most of the markets, educational institutions, public transport and industries remained closed in the Valley .
Kamal Thapa, president, RPP-N said, “The reinstated parliament had no mandate to decide on the key issues such as monarchy, federalism and secular state since it was not an elected body.”
“It is a must for the issues to be presented to the people for decision,” Thapa added.
Thapa said the party would organise a Singha Durbar gherao programme tomorrow.
Pic. Nepalis walk on a deserted Kathmandu street. (AFP). The RPP-N claimed that the bandh was successful. “The enormous support of valley dwellers has indicated that the people support our demand. We will announce our future programme of protest after the Singha Durbar gherao tomorrow,” he added.
Security forces were heavily deployed in the valley as a precaution to violence.
However, the protesters vandalised more than two dozen vehicles on the charge of defying the call. “We were peacefully demonstrating, which is the right of every citizen. When the police attempted to suppress our agitation, a clash followed,” said Mohan Shrestha, chief of the publicity department of the party.
According to Shrestha, the police detained 633 protesters, including former minister and party general secretary Tanka Dhakal, deputy general secretary Prahlad Shah, central committee members Tara Luitel, Kishore Lindgen and Shyam Ghimire.
Police, however, maintained only 285 agitators were detained during the day and were released in the evening. Shrestha claimed that his party cadres vandalised 29 vehicles including two of police in Balkhu, Koteshwor, Satdobato, Kalanki, Gongabu accusing them of defying the bandh programme.
Reuters Reports from KATHMANDU :[..]
[Kathmandu, Feb. 22 (Reuters): Shops closed and vehicles stayed off the roads in Kathmandu today in response to a strike called by a party supporting Nepal’s deposed king, the first closure by the royalists since the monarchy was abolished.
A special constituent assembly dominated by the Maoist former rebels abolished the 239-year-old monarchy in 2008, turning the majority-Hindu nation into a secular republic and ending a decade-long civil war that caused more than 13,000 deaths.
The Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal that called the strike is demanding a plebiscite on whether the monarchy should be reinstated and whether Nepal should again become a Hindu nation.
“People should be allowed to make a choice through a referendum,” said Kamal Thapa, the party chief. Analysts said the royalists were re-asserting themselves.
“They are exploiting the disarray in politics and people’s disillusionment with the current rulers,” said Kunda Dixit, editor of the weekly Nepali Times.
“Getting rid of a Hindu monarchy and bringing in a secular republic has not improved the people’s lives,” Dixit added.
Today, hundreds of riot police stood guard at deserted streets but no major incident of violence was reported. The royalists also plan to block entry tomorrow to the Singha Durbar office complex, which houses the Prime Minister’s office.]
Reports came to the desk of Hindu Existence (HE) that the strike also paralysed the normal civic life everywhere in three districts of Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur and some places of other districts also. Spokesmen of RPP-N from Kathmandu conveyed HE desk that agitation for monarchy-Hindu Rashtra-federalism referendum will not be stopped until the goal is reached. They said the media propagated itself for the maoist-anarchist, “but the press is reluctant to highlight the people’s agitation in favour of HinduRashtra and ancient Hindu monarchy in Nepal”. One of the RPP-N spokesmen reiterated that “the common people Nepal has now disillusioned about the Maoist regime in Nepal”.
Courtesy : The Himalayan Times, The Telegraph Kolkata, Reuters, AFP & Agencies.