Shutdown enforced to restore Nepal as Hindu state

via PTI published on June 22, 2010

KATHMANDU: Normal life in Nepal’s western districts was disrupted today as a lesser known Hindu organisation enforced a two-day shut down in support of its demand to restore the country as a Hindu state.

Transport services, businesses, markets and educational institutions remained closed in western districts, including Dang, Salyan, Rukum, Rolpa and Pyuthan, for the past two days as Bhishma Ekta Parishad enforced its shut down.

The group underlined its demand for restoring Nepal as a Hindu state.

Nepal was the world’s only Hindu state until the interim parliament declared it secular in 2006 after the then King Gyanendra was forced to give up absolute power.

After the Parliament failed to promulgate a new constitution last month, which would have institutionalised Nepal as the secular state, many Hindu groups have stepped up agitations to seek a referendum to restore the country as a Hindu state.

It also demanded the implementation of the three-point deal signed between the main opposition Maoists and the ruling alliance on May 28 to extend the term of the 601-member Constituent Assembly.

The three point agreement includes extension of the term of parliament, resignation by Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal at the earliest paving the way for formation of a national government and to push forward the stalled peace process through consensus.

It said except for the extension of parliament by one year, the other two key points of the deal are yet to be implemented.

The political parties are deadlocked over the May 28 deal. Main opposition CPN-Maoist, the single largest party with nearly 40 per cent of the parliamentary seats, has claimed to lead a national coalition to rescue the peace process and frame a new constitution.

However, the ruling 22-party alliance has demanded that the Maoists should first cooperate in managing the combatants (integration into the security forces), return the seized property during the decade-long civil war and dissolve the paramilitary organisation of the Young Communist League before leading a new government.

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