In Nepal’s Kathmandu, riot police clashed with tens of thousands of supporters of Nepal’s former king, Gyanendra, who rallied in the city on Thursday, demanding the reinstatement of the monarchy and the return of the nation to its former status as a Hindu state.
The protesters, waving the national flag and chanting slogans in support of the ex-monarch, converged on the outskirts of Kathmandu, seeking to march toward the city center. However, authorities had preemptively banned protests in key areas, leading to a confrontation with law enforcement. Riot police employed batons and tear gas to disperse the crowd, resulting in minor injuries on both sides.
“We love our king and country more than our lives. Bring back the monarchy. Abolish the republic,” chanted the fervent crowd, reflecting their discontent with the current political landscape.
Supporters from various parts of the country had gathered to voice their grievances, accusing the government and political parties of corruption and failed governance.
The movement seeks the return of the monarchy abolished in 2008, following weeks of street protests in 2006 that compelled then-King Gyanendra to relinquish his authoritarian rule and usher in a democratic era.
Since the abolition of the monarchy, Gyanendra has lived as a private citizen with no official power or state protection. Despite some lingering support among segments of the population, his chances of reclaiming power remain slim.
Notably, the demonstrators also called for Nepal to revert to its former status as a Hindu state. In 2007, an interim constitution declared the Himalayan nation a secular state, a move contested by those now advocating for the reinstatement of Hinduism as the state religion.