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Pro-monarchists shutdown Kathmandu

world Updated: Feb 22, 2010 14:57 IST
Utpal/HT Correspondent

Normal life in the Kathmandu Valley was affected on Monday due to a shutdown by Rashtriya Prajatantra Party (Nepal), the country’s only party seeking a return to monarchial rule.

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

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

Although two other factions of the pro-monarchy RPP have given up the hope of the country returning to monarchial rule, the Kamal Thapa faction still backs the issue and also wants Nepal to become a Hindu nation.

Monarchy in Nepal was abolished in May 2008 and the country declared itself a democratic republic. The world’s only Hindu country also became a secular nation around the same time.

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