NC’s Thapa among 11 injured in blast

  • First explosion in Capital targeting campaign three days ahead of polls
- Manish Gautam, Kathmandu

Dec 5, 2017-Nepali Congress leader Gagan Thapa survived a bomb attack in the Capital on Monday morning.

An improvised explosive device (IED) was detonated targeting Thapa’s election campaign in Chapali of Budhanilkantha Municipality.

He sustained minor injuries on his left ear and back. Two of Thapa’s supporters, who were accompanying him in the campaign, were critically injured. Two others have also sustained major injuries. Thapa was immediately rushed to the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital.

According to TUTH, Shyam Krishna Shrestha, Jayaraj Lamichhane, Raj Kaji Shrestha and Renu Bharuwal were critically injured in the explosion while Dhruba Khadka, Purna Bahadur Shrestha, Suman Khadka, Rabindra Karki, Kasi Lal Shrestha and Parsuram Thapa sustained minor injuries. “He [Gagan Thapa] survived the attack only because he had just moved past, perhaps by 15 seconds, the site where the IED was detonated,” said Pratap Poudel, a close aide to Thapa. 

“The way the explosion was timed shows the assailants were targeting me,” said the former home minister who is contesting the federal parliament elections, to be held on Thursday, from Kathamndu-4. 

“I was taking quick steps as our door-to-door campaign had been delayed by an hour. That’s s why some of my friends who were behind me sustained more injuries.”

After he was discharged from the hospital, Thapa took rest at his house before addressing a gathering in Sifal later in the evening.

He called on all not to be deterred by the incidents of blast and urged the voters to exercise their franchise.

Monday’s is the first blast incident in the Capital targeting an election campaign. 

IEDs had been detonated in the run-up to the first phase of federal parliament and provincial assembly elections also. But polls in 32 districts on November 26 were held largely in a peaceful manner. But there has been a resurgence of explosions in the recent days. 

A temporary cop in Tulsipur of Dang became the first victim of election-related violence on November 29. He was injured the previous day when an IED targeting Prime Minister and Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba’s election rally was detonated in Tulsipur.

On November 29, Narayan Karki, an NC candidate from Udaypur-2 and Nepal 

Student Union’s Udaypur district president Mira Katuwal were seriously injured in an IED blast at Danuwarbeshi of the district. They are receiving treatment at TUTH. Despite Home Ministry’s claims that adequate security measures are in place for Thursday’s polls, blasts have continued in different parts of the country. 

Police said at least 40 people were arrested on Monday after the blast in Chapali. Security agencies, however, have not been able to find out who are behind the series of blasts across the country. 

SSP Rabindra Dhanuk, chief of Metropolitan Police Range, Teku, said round-the-clock security checks have been ensured in 62 “strategic locations” in the Valley. “We have intensified search operations as well,” said Dhanuk. 

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s Office, which is the focal point for Valley security, said it has decided to increase the number of personal security officers for the candidates.

Published: 05-12-2017 07:20

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