Bandh disrupts life in Valley

KATHMANDU: A bandh called by the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal (RPP-N), demanding re-declaring Nepal as a Hindu state, referendums on federalism and constitutional monarchy, affected normal life in the capital city today.

Owing to the bandh,most of the markets, educational institutions, public transport and industries remained closed in the Valley .

Kamal Thapa, president, RPP-N said, “The reinstated parliament had no mandate to decide on the key issues such as monarchy, federalism and secular state since it was not an elected body.”

“It is a must for the issues to be presented to the people for decision,” Thapa added.

Thapa said the party would organise a Singha Durbar gherao programme tomorrow.

The RPP-N claimed that the bandh was successful. “The enormous support

of valley dwellers has indicated that the people support our demand. We will announce our future programme of protest after the Singha Durbar gherao tomorrow,” he added.

Security forces were heavily deployed in the valley as a precaution to violence.

However, the protesters vandalised more than two dozen vehicles on the charge of defying the call. “We were peacefully demonstrating, which is the right of

every citizen. When the police attempted to suppress our agitation, a clash followed,” said Mohan Shrestha, chief of the publicity department of the party.

According to Shrestha, the police detained 633 protesters, including former minister and party general secretary Tanka Dhakal, deputy general secretary Prahlad Shah, central committee members Tara Luitel, Kishore Lindgen and Shyam Ghimire.

Police, however, maintained only 285 agitators were detained during the day and were released

in the evening. Shrestha claimed that his party cadres vandalised 29 vehicles including

two of police in Balkhu, Koteshwor, Satdobato, Kalanki, Gongabu accusing them of defying the bandh programme.