The police used water cannons and lobbed several rounds of tear gas shells as the supporters of Hindu Nepal campaign committee’s one point agenda got defeated in the Constituent Assembly.
The Constituent Assembly, that took up clause by clause voting on the draft constitution on the second day Monday, defeated by voice vote an amendment proposal demanding that Nepal be declared a Hindu Nation, a status that it exercised under constitution for nearly 45 years, until May 2006. House Chairman Subhash Chandra Nembang declared that the amendment was defeated as there was no sufficient number supporting it to be put for division.
However, the constitutional endorsement of Nepal’s status as a secular country soon triggered a fierce protest demonstration in the Baneshwar area — about 500-meters away from the CA Building –with the supporters of the Hindu Nepal campaign violating the prohibitory orders, threatening that they would burn the constitution once it is formally promulgated on Sunday (Sep 20), and continue their movement for it through out. In the meantime, the condition of Kamal Joshi, 19, whose fast unto death entered 14th day Monday, refused to break it despite personal request from Prime Minister Sushil Koirala. He came back to the venue of fast from the Hospital after the Constituent Assembly adopted the resolution to have Nepal declared a secular country. “I will give up my life as the cause that I have taken up is much more dearer to me than my life.”
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Police lobbed tear gas shells and let loose water cannons on protesters after the news of Nepal going secular and Joshi’s health deteriorating surcharged the atmosphere.
As a sop to the campaigners, the major three parties in the House conceded their demand to have Cow declared Nepal’s National animal, with its slaughter bringing rigorous punishment.