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Ex-king's planned visit to Myagdi called off



MYAGDI: Former king Gyanendra Shah will not visit Myagdi on Saturday, as planned earlier, locals preparing to welcome the former monarch said today.

The visit was cancelled owing to a landslide along the Beni-Maldhunga road section and a bandh called by political parties, said Jagat Prasad Gauchan, a local involved in making arrangements for the visit.

The district-wide bandh, called by seven political parties, was called off after news came that Shah’s visit was cancelled. To protest the visit,’reminiscent of the monarchy era’, local activists from the Nepali Congress, UCPN-Maoist, CPN-UML, CPN-Maoist and Rastriya Prajatantra Party had staged symbolic rallies around the district yesterday. They had ransacked a welcome gate built by Shah’s supporters in Hospital Chowk.

“We had to protest as the visit programme was reminiscent of the monarchy era. But after the programme was cancelled, we decided to call off our bandh,” said NC district president Resham Baniya.

Rita Bhattachan, chairperson of the committee formed to make arrangements for the visit, issued a statement urging political parties to respect Shah’s right to expression. Shah, who arrived in Pokhara yesterday, is due to visit a number of religious sites in Baglung, Parbat and Tanahun.

The former king was to arrive in Beni today on his two-day tour of the district.

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