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Nepal has seen huge demonstrations in the last days, as tens of thousands of Nepal’s former king supporters marched towards the capital, Kathmandu, demanding the reinstatement of the monarchy and the restoration of the nation’s former status as a Hindu state.
Protesters, waving the national flag and shouting slogans in support of former King Gyanendra, gathered on the outskirts of Kathmandu and went towards the city centre. Riot police obstructed their path, using bamboo batons, tear gas, and a water cannon. Minor injuries were reported on both sides. Prior to the rally, authorities had prohibited protests in crucial areas of the city.
The crowd passionately shouted their love for the king and country, and their hope to bring back the monarchy and abolish the republic.
Supporters of the former king are pressing for the reinstatement of the monarchy, abolished in 2008. They accused the government and political parties of corruption and ineffectual governance.
A series of street protests in 2006 compelled then-King Gyanendra to relinquish his authoritarian rule and start a democratic process. Two years later, a newly elected parliament voted to eliminate the monarchy, establishing Nepal as a republic with a president as the head of state. Since then, Gyanendra has lived as a private citizen without power or state protection. While he still enjoys some support, the likelihood of his return to power is minimal.
The demonstrators also called for the reversion of Nepal to a Hindu state. In 2007, the Himalayan nation was declared a secular state by the new constitution.
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