Congress leader injured in khukuri-attack in KathmanduPolice have arrested the alleged assailant, Shyam Sapkota, who styled himself as a pro-royalist and anti-MCC activist.
A man armed with a khukuri who styled himself as a pro-monarchy and anti-MCC activist attacked Nepali Congress Joint General Secretary Mahendra Yadav at Bhrikutimandap in Kathmandu on Wednesday afternoon, police said.
Yadav, who sustained deep cuts to the back of his neck, was rushed to the National Trauma Centre, where he is being treated in the intensive care unit and is said to be out of danger.
The assailant, who the police have identified as Shyam Sapkota, 47, from Nuwakot district attacked Yadav with khukuri as he was exiting the premises of the Reporters Club, police said. Reporters Club is a media advocacy organisation that regularly hosts political interactions.
Dr Badri Rijal, the chief medical superintendent of the trauma centre, said in a statement that Yadav’s condition is currently stable.
Police arrested Sapkota immediately after the incident, said Superintendent of Police Kumud Dhungel, who is also a spokesman for the District Police Range Kathmandu. “Our initial investigation has found that Sapkota is a pro-monarchy activist,” Dhungel said.
Sapkota, who is originally from ward 7 of Bidur Municipality in Nuwakot district, was listening to Yadav, who was speaking at the Reporters Club. As the interaction ended, Sapkota approached Yadav, took out the khukuri from his bag and attacked him from behind, police said.
Videos posted on social media after the incident show Sapkota chanting slogans against the US-funded MCC compact and demanding the reinstatement of monarchy in the country.
“Scrap the MCC and reinstate monarchy,” Sapkota can be seen shouting in a video, which is available in the public domain.
Nepal’s Parliament ratified the MCC’s Nepal Compact, which sharply divided the Nepali public and polity, in February 2022. The compact, which entails the construction of a 315-km 400kV transmission line and upgrade of a part of the East-West Highway, came into force last week. For the projects, the MCC is funding $500 million while the Nepal government will be contributing $197 million. Disputes over the compact have continued to this day.
Nepal’s Constituent Assembly had abolished the over 240-years-old monarchy and declared the country a federal democratic republic in 2008.
SP Dhungel said the assailant Sapkota is now in the custody of the Police Circle at Singha Durbar for further investigation.
Yadav’s party, the Nepali Congress, has denounced the attack issuing a press statement. “Nepali Congress strongly demands that the government conduct a thorough investigation on the assailant and other individuals or groups that might be involved in the attack and take stringent actions against them,” reads the statement issued by Krishna Prasad Paudel, the party’s chief secretary. “The Nepali Congress wishes Joint General Secretary Yadav’s speedy recovery.”