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India tells King Gyanendra to restore democracy; three killed

By Staff
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Kathmandu, Apr 20 (UNI) King Gyanendra was today grappling with intense pressure from India to restore democracy in Nepal as at least three pro-democracy protestors were killed in police action when the agitation against the monarchy spread to new areas in the Himalayan Kingdom.

On the 15th day of protests against the 'autocratic rule', Indian Prime Minister's Special Envoy Karan Singh met the King at the Narayanhiti Palace and firmly told him to hold a genuine dialogue with constitutional forces and urgently restore multi-party democracy in the country to overcome the present crisis.

Dr Karan Singh, who was accompanied by Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, expressed India's readiness to support all efforts towards this end and emphasised that a lasting solution to the problems of Nepal had to be found by the people of the country through a political process.

Dr Karan Singh, who has ancestral links with the Nepalese Royal family and is the former Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, had yesterday, after his arrival from New Delhi, held talks with Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala, former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and General Secretary of CPN UML, Madhav Kumar Nepal.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Secretary, who came here from Bhutan where he had gone to meet King Jigme Singhye Wangchuk, and Indian Aambassador to Nepal Shiv Shankar Mukherjee met Chief of the Army staff General Pyar Jung Thapa.

According to a press release issued by Indian embassy here before the Indian envoy left for New Delhi, Dr Karan Singh stressed the need of unity of constitutional forces in Nepal, with the objective of urgently restoring multiparty democracy in the country in order to overcome the crisis that Nepal is faced with.

''He has conveyed India's readiness to support all efforts towards this end while emphasising that a lasting solution to the problems of Nepal has to be found by the people of Nepal through a peaceful political process,'' the embassy said.

''The visit of the special envoy took place in the backdrop of the current political developments in Nepal, which have been a cause of deep concern to India and other members of the international community,'' the embassy said.

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