Protesters demanding restoration of Nepal’s monarchy clash with police

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Hundreds of protesters demanding the restoration of the monarchy in Nepal clashed with riot police on Tuesday in Kathmandu.

Supporters of the former King Gyanendra, who was removed from power in 2008, attempted to crash through police barricades in a bid to reach the offices of the prime minister and other key government departments.

Riot police used bamboo batons and fired water cannons to push back protesters. No major injuries were reported.

The protest was called by the Rastriya Prajatantra Party, or the National Democratic Party, a prominent supporter of Gyanendra.

“We love our king and country more than our lives. Bring back the monarchy. Abolish the republic,” the crowd chanted.

The demonstrators also demanded that Nepal be turned back into a Hindu state. The Himalayan nation was declared a secular state in a 2007 interim constitution.

Weeks of street protests in 2006 forced Gyanendra to abandon his authoritarian rule and cede power back to Parliament. Two years later, Parliament voted to abolish the centuries-old monarchy.

Since then, Gyanendra has been living as a private citizen with no power or state protection. He still has some support but little chance of returning to power.

Royalist groups accuse the country’s major political parties of corruption and failed governance and say people are frustrated with politicians. Nepal has had 13 governments since the monarchy was abolished.

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