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Updated: March 21, 2010 01:14 IST

Girija Prasad Koirala dead

Prerana Marasini
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Former Nepal Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala had been unwell for several months.
AP Former Nepal Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala had been unwell for several months.

Girija Prasad Koirala, Nepal's freedom fighter and political hero, who played a major role in ending the Maoists' decade-long People's War and restoring peace in the country, is no more.

The Nepali Congress president, who served as Prime Minister four times and as head of state once, died on Saturday at the age of 86. He had been suffering from chronic asthma and Common Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. His health deteriorated recently and he had to be hospitalised. He had been unconscious since morning and breathed his last at the house of his only child, daughter Sujata Koirala. Thousands of party cadres, leaders of different parties, and diplomats gathered there to pay their last respects.

His body will be kept at the Dasharath Stadium on Sunday morning for the public to pay their homage. The funeral will take place in the evening and his daughter will perform the last rites.

The government has announced a national holiday; the national flag will fly at half-mast for three days. Realising his contribution made for national reconciliation, the government had a few months ago decided to recommend his name for the Nobel Peace Prize.

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