Maoists to protest king’s presence at Indra Jatra festival

Kathmandu, September 4 :

The Maoists are organising a campaign to protest King Gyanendra’s participation in the upcoming Indra Jatra festival. The royal family members are scheduled to observe the century-old chariot festival of the living goddess at Basantapur on Wednesday. In a press release today, chairman of the Newar National Liberation Front (NNLF) Pawan Man Shrestha said they would hold demonstrations against the king during his visit to the historic royal palace in Hanumandhoka.

“The kings of the Shah dynasty have turned the culture of the Kathmandu Valley into a means to receive honour from the people. He said king’s presence at the Indra Jatra was to remind people that his ancestors conquered the Valley on this day, adding: “Since a massive campaign to eradicate monarchy has already begun, there is no significance of the king’s presence at Indra Jatra.”

He also appealed to the Valley denizens to commemorate Indra Jatra as a “Black Day”, because this is the day when King Prithvi Narayan Shah conquered Kathmandu Valley and dismantled its cultural heritage 238 years ago.