KRISHNA PRASAD DHAKAL
TAULIHAWA: A day after his arrival in Bhairahawa on a five-day religious tour, former king Gyanendra Shah reached the Tamreshwor temple of Taulihawa and the Krishnanagar bazaar-based Radhkrishna temple to perform pujas as thousands of well-wishers gathered to greet him on the way to and from the temples.
"We had a very tough time to provide him (the ex-king) security as he went into the crowd to meet them," said a security person. Shah had reached the religious sites on a vehicle. Having got off his vehicle, he walked on foot about one kilometre to the temple.
About 20,000 people were gathered at the temples and on the way when the deposed king went to perform the puja there. He spent about 30 minutes at each temple.
The former king's well-wishers offered him flowers and urged him to save the nation, while some were eager to get a glance of the former king.
Meanwhile, people of this area have mixed views regarding the former king's visit. While some view this visit as positive, others consider it as nothing but to take advantage of the political crisis. "I think the ex-king's visit as an attempt to seek a role in politics again," said Shantaraj Acharya of Tilaurakot VDC.
About 300 security personnel were deployed to provide security to the ex-king. A company led by the Armed Police DSP Uddhav Rawal from Kathmandu has also been providing the round-the-clock security to him.
The ex-king along with his personnel staff and security personnel had reached Bhairahawa yesterday on the five-day visit. On Tuesday, he will go to Butwal to visit the local religious sites.