Tens of thousands of protesters gather in the Nepali capital Kathmandu seeking restoration of monarchy and the nation’s former status as a Hindu state.
Police used tear gas and batons to foil their attempt to march to the center of the city on Thursday.
Waving national flags and chanting slogans in favor of the former King Gyanendra, the supporters of the “citizen’s movement to protect the nation, nationalism , religion, and culture” amassed on the edge of Kathmandu and attempted to move toward the city’s center, local English daily Nepal Times reported.
“We love our king and country more than our lives. Bring back the monarchy, and abolish the republic,” were the slogans chanted by the charged crowd on Thursday in unison, accusing the government and political parties of corruption and bad governance.
The police backed by water cannons fired tear gas shells and beat the protesters with bamboo sticks to hold off the march.
There were minor injuries on both sides.
Authorities said they had banned protests in several parts of Kathmandu before the rally, which was attended by supporters of the former king who came to the capital from all over the country.
The centuries-old monarchy was abolished in 2008 two years after then-King Gyanendra was forced to abandon his authoritarian rule and introduce democracy by weeks-long street protests in 2006.
Since then, Gyanendra has been living as a private citizen with no power or state protection. He still has some support among the people but little chance of returning to power.
The Himalayan nation was declared a secular state in 2007 by an interim constitution.