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Ousted Nepalese king faces power cut over electricity debt

NEW DELHI, October 23 (RIA Novosti) - The Nepal Electricity Authority has threatened to cut supplies to the residence of the former king Gyanendra Shah over unpaid electricity bills of almost $1 million, the Kathmandu Post said on Thursday.

King Gyanendra was deposed in May 2008, when the Himalayan Kingdom declared a federal republic, ending 239 years of monarch rule. King Gyanendra was subsequently ordered to vacate his palace and become an "ordinary citizen."

However, the government stopped paying the king's utility bills in 2006, and the debt has grown to 77.7 million Nepalese rupees (over $1 million).

Last week, the chief of the Nepal Electricity Authority, Arjun Kumar Karki, ordered that power to the royal residence be cut off within 15 days unless the former king clears his electricity bill.

The ousted king along with his wife Komal, the former queen, has moved to one of his former homes in the northwestern suburb of Kathmandu. The government continues to provide the ex-monarch with security and his residence is guarded by 50 armed police officers and 25 military personnel.

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