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Pro-monarchists shut Kathmandu down

world Updated: Feb 23, 2010 00:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Kathmandu Valley

Normal life was disrupted in the Kathmandu Valley on Monday as hundreds of supporters of Nepal’s deposed king were arrested as they enforced a general strike demanding a referendum on restoring the monarchy and the country’s status as a Hindu state.

Public transport remained off roads and educational institutions and business establishments across the valley downed shutters. Incidents of the Rashtriya Prajatantra Party (Nepal) supporters damaging vehicles were also reported.

Police arrested more than 200 RPP supporters, said home ministry spokesman Jayamukunda Khanal.

The shutdown was called seeking a referendum on secularism, monarchy and federalism before the nation adopts a new constitution in less than 100 days on May 28.

It was the first time the RPP, the only party to support the deposed monarchy, called a general strike.

Monarchy was abolished in Nepal in May 2008 and the country declared itself a democratic republic.

In a related development, Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala has said the demand for a Hindu state should not be ignored by the Constituent Assembly as it could trigger a catastrophe in the country.