Hundreds of pro-monarchy protesters on Monday clashed with the security forces during a march toward central administrative secretariat Singha Durbar in Kathmandu to pay tribute to Nepal’s late king Prithvi Narayan Shah on his 299th birth anniversary. The clashes broke out when the riot police stopped the pro-monarchy protesters while they were heading toward the statue of the late king in front of the Singha Durbar to place garlands on it as it is a restricted area, the Kathmandu Post reported.
Some protestors were injured in the clashes, the paper said. Carrying the national flag and pictures of Prithvi Narayan Shah, the protestors demanded the establishment of a Hindu nation and monarchy.
Nepal was declared a secular state in 2008 after the success of the people’s movement of 2006 that saw the abolition of its 240-year-old monarchy. Meanwhile, Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli paid tribute to the late king and recalled the special contribution of the unifier of modern Nepal.
“The contributions made by King Prithvi Narayan Shah to the unification of Nepal is beyond comparison. Today, on the occasion of his 299th birth anniversary, I recall his special contributions and pay him respect, Oli tweeted. Prithvi Narayan Shah was the King of Gorkha when he began the national unification campaign in 1745. He is credited for Nepal’s unification.
Nepal’s main Opposition party Nepali Congress has in the past accused the Oli government of tacitly supporting pro-monarchy rallies that have recently surfaced in different parts of the country, demanding reinstatement of constitutional monarchy. Earlier this month, the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) staged an anti-government rally in the national capital, demanding the restoration of constitutional monarchy and Hindu state in Nepal.