Alert sounded in Nepal amid fears of clashes over king’s bust

Kathmandu, Sep 2 (IANS) A day after late King Birendra Shah’s statue was removed and attempts were made to reinstall it in Nepalgunj city, the police on Friday sounded a high alert across the country to avoid clashes between supporters and opponents of the king.

The bust of Shah installed at Dhambojhi Chowk in Nepalgunj was pulled down by security personnel on Thursday night as it led to an altercation between the police and the erstwhile monarch’s supporters, the Kathmandu Post reported.

Earlier on Thursday, a group of youths reinstalled the statue which was pulled down during the People’s Movement-II in 2006.

Some demonstrators, including cadres of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal, gathered again on Friday morning to re-install the king’s bust. But this could not be done as the police force was deployed at the site, The Himalayan Times reported.

Many areas in the city were cordoned off by the police to avert any possible clashes between the supporters and opponents of the monarchy and the police forces.

“No one should carry out activities that give rise to conflict and hampers the peace and security,” said a senior police official.

A statue of Birendra Shah installed at Dhambojhi Chowk in Nepalgunj was pulled down by protesters during People’s Movement-II in 2006. The political parties could not reach a consensus over whose statue should be erected there.

–IANS

py/vt

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