Nepal Junks Hindu Nation Call, Clashes Erupt


Kathmandu: Violent clashes broke out in Nepal after the Himalayan nation’s Constituent Assembly rejected calls to revert the nation to a Hindu State during voting on Monday on a draft of the country’s much delayed new constitution.

Nepal was a Hindu nation for centuries when kings ruled, but has been a secular state since the monarchy was abolished in 2006.

More than two-thirds of members of the assembly, which began voting on the constitution draft on Sunday, voted against making Nepal a Hindu state again. The proposal needed the support of two-thirds of the members to be adopted.
The proposal was pushed by the Rastirya Prajatantra Party Nepal, or National Democratic Party Nepal, which also wants the country to be a monarchy.

Many people in Nepal, which has a Hindu majority, believe the kings were a reincarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu.

Following Monday’s vote, hundreds of Hindu protesters clashed outside the assembly hall with police, who fired water cannons and beat them with bamboo batons.

The protesters attacked passing vehicles, including one of the United Nations. The UN vehicle appeared to be headed to the airport with an official inside. The official and the driver were not hurt.

No one appeared to be seriously injured in the tussles between the police and the protesters.

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