Protesters demanding Hindu state clash with police in Kathmandu

KATHMANDU: About 500 protesters demanding Nepal be declared a Hindu state in the country's new constitution clashed with police in the capital on Wednesday.

The demonstrators chanted slogans as they tried to force through a police barricade on the street leading to the Constituent Assembly building in Kathmandu.

No one was injured in scuffles with police officers and there were no arrests.

Nepal was declared a secular republic after its centuries-old monarchy was abolished in 2008. The monarchs who ruled Nepal promoted Hinduism, and the kings were believed by some to be a reincarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu.

Hindu groups are now demanding that the Himalayan nation again be declared a Hindu state in the new constitution.

The constitution was supposed to be written by a Constituent Assembly elected in 2008. It failed to finish the task, and another assembly elected in 2012 has also struggled because of disagreements between political parties.

Nepal has been governed by an interim constitution for seven years.