The Hindu lobby pushing for reinstating the status of Nepal as a Hindu state has received support from an unusual quarter - the Muslim population of the country.
The Muslims in Nepal are demanding that the country should reinstate its former identity, as they feel more "secure" in a Hindu state than the present secular constitution.
"It is to protect Islam. I opened my mouth and demanded that Nepal be declared a Hindu state in order to protect my own religion," said Amjad Ali, chairman of the Rapti Muslim Society, reported PTI.
Several groups in the country are participating in protest programmes demanding for a Hindu state. The unparallelled support is turning many heads, especially as Islam is a minority religion in Nepal and as per the 2011 Nepal census, only 4.4 percent of the population are Muslims.
The Muslims' demand for a Hindu state seems to be an effort to stop the spread of Christianity in Nepal.
"Turning the country secular is nothing but a design to break the longstanding unity among Muslims and Hindus," Udbudhin Fru, chairman of Muslim Mukti Morcha affiliated to the UCPN (Maoist) said.
Babu Khan Pathan, chairperson of the Rastrabadi Muslim Manch Nepalgunj told The Himalayan Times that to stop the growing influence of Christianity in Nepal "...there [was] no alternative [but] to reinstate the country's old Hindu State identity in order to allow fellow citizens to live with religious tolerance."
Pathan claimed that at least 80 percent of the Muslims in the country support a Hindu state.
Nepalese Christians, who account for less than two percent of the country's population, complain that under the new constitution, Christians could be prohibited from even participating in church services and other religious activities in Nepal, Christian Today reported.