FEB 27, 2012 KATHMANDU – Life in Kathmandu Valley came to stand still after a powerful bomb goes off in the daylight in central city where thousands of security forces are deployed to secure the area.
Three persons were killed and seven others injured when a powerful bomb went off outside the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) central office in Babarmahal, Kathmandu on Monday.
The explosion occurred at around 1:05 PM, killing two persons on the spot and injured eight. The other victim breathed his last while undergoing treatment at the Bir Hospital. Police identified two of the deceased as Krishna Bahadur Tamang and Man Bahadur Tamang of Baireni, Dhading District. The identity of the third victim has not been established.
Meanwhile, Samyukta Jatiya Mukti Morcha-Bishwokranti (SJMM), a little known underground outfit who claims to be fighting for caste freedom fighters, has claimed responsibility for the blast. The group had carried out an explosion at the mobile phone tower in Dhadhing recently.
The explosion was carried out three days after the NOC hiked the prices of petroleum products. The government had hiked fuel prices effective from Saturday citing inability to purchase fuels in line with the soaring fuel prices in the international market.
The injured have been identified as Basu Shrestha -20, of Lubhu-Lalitpur, Lal Bahadur Tamang-65, of Dhading district, Som Bahadur Tamang, 35, of Bara, Raghu Nath Khadka, 45, of Bhaktapur and Man Bahadur Kunwar and Bhim Bahadur Kunwar of Achham. Som Bahadur Tamang is said to be in critical condition. All the injured have been receiving medical treatment at Bir hospital, sources confirmed.
The incident site NOC office is situated just about 300 meters away from Singha Durbar, the central government secretariat, where most of the ministry and other major offices are located and thousands of security personnel are deployed round the clock.
It has been reported that a meeting of Public Accounts Committee on fuel price hike was underway when the explosion took place.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Bijay Kumar Gachhadar reached the incident site to observe into the situation of the location and later visited the injured in Bir Hospital.
Minister Gachhadar has announced to provide relief package to the families of the deceased and free treatment to those injured.
The home ministry is currently holding an emergency meeting with the heads of security agencies.
Minister Gachhadar condemned the act, saying that it was a threat to entire government and its security.
However, the government has not made public its view on the incident. An emergency Cabinet meeting has been convened in the aftermath of the blast that terrorized the residents of the Valley.
There are speculations that, recent abolishes of Information Minister and put him into the jail on for his corruption probe may have linked to the incident and many other underground sentiments may have been working to terrorize the current government as well.