King’s man killed in Nepal

April 18th, 2008 - 2:41 pm ICT by admin  

By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, April 18 (IANS) A supporter of embattled King Gyanendra who fought the crucial election rooting for monarchy was killed by unidentified assailants in Nepal’s Terai plains Friday, raising fears of post-poll violence. Rudra Bahadur Singh, who contested the constituent assembly election from Nawalparasi district in southwest Nepal, was gunned down in his own residence in Palasibazar Friday morning, police said.

Singh was a candidate from the controversial Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal, the only big party to have fought the crucial election in support of monarchy.

However, the anti-king wave that swept Nepal after the monarch’s attempt to rule his kingdom by force backfired on the royalist party, and helped the former Maoist guerrillas head towards a resounding victory.

Though it fielded 207 candidates for the 240 directly fought seats, the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal failed to make any mark and its chief, Kamal Thapa, who was home minister during the last days of King Gyanendra’s absolute reign, lost his deposit from his Makwanpur constituency close to Kathmandu.

Singh, in his 70s, had garnered only 380 votes in the election and lost his deposit as well.

No one claimed responsibility for the killing immediately.

Singh is the fourth contestant to have been killed in connexion with the twice-postponed polls that saw a flare up in violence on the eve of polling, with nine people being killed on a single day.

The Terai has been a hotbed of violence since the ouster of the royal regime in 2006.

Singh’s murder comes even as the former ruling party, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s Nepali Congress, said in its preliminary assessment of the unexpected election results that the breakdown in law and order and lack of security was a key factor behind its rout.

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