Police arrest a person in relation to blast at former communication minister Baskota's houseInterrogation is underway with the arrestee who is a district member of Netra Bikram Chand-led Nepal Communist Party.
Police have arrested a man in connection with a blast at former communications minister Gokul Baskota’s under-construction house in Lokanthali, Bhaktapur, on Wednesday morning.
Superintendent Sabin Pradhan of Bhaktapur Metropolitan Police Range said that the man was arrested at a squatters’ settlement in Manohara, Bhaktapur.
“We are interrogating the arrested man who has been identified as Dev Bahadur Gurung,” Pradhan told the Post. “He is a district member of the Netra Bikram Chand party.”
The blast took place at around 7:40am, according to Pradhan. The compound wall of the house, a van parked near it and window panes of a neighbouring house were damaged in the blast. Police said no one was injured.
Baskota earlier this month ran into controversy after he was caught on tape negotiating a Rs700 million "commission" with an agent of a “Swiss company” for installing a security printing press facility in Nepal. Subsequently, he resigned.
Police have found a pamphlet at the incident site saying Chand party owns up to the incident.
The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP)condemned the blast terming it as a cowardly act by a “terrorist group”. Party chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal has demanded immediate action against the group involved in the incident, read a party statement.
Although Gurung, during interrogation, denied his involvement in the incident, police are collecting circumstantial evidence, for now, said Deputy Superintendent Shantiraj Koirala, chief of Metropolitan Police Circle, Thimi.
“The pamphlet that we obtained from the incident site made us believe that the incident was carried out by the Chand-led party. However, an investigation will make things clear,” Koirala added.
Gurung is in the custody of Metropolitan Police Circle, Thimi and will be presented before the court on Thursday.
On March 12 last year, the government branded the Chand party as a criminal outfit and banned all its activities after it carried out two blasts in the capital in which one person died and another was injured.
Chand, a former guerrilla leader, left the Maoist party alleging that its leaders, including Pushpa Kamal Dahal abandoned the “people’s war” halfway. He had deserted Dahal’s Maoist party in 2012 along with Mohan Baidya and Ram Bahadur Thapa, who is currently the home minister.
But Chand parted ways with Thapa and formed his own Nepal Communist Party in 2014 to launch a “unified revolution.”
On January 15, the Chand party had carried out a blast at the house of Shova Kant Dhakal, the alleged mastermind behind the Baluwatar land grab scam, at Sano Bharyang.
After labelling the Chand party as a criminal outfit, the government has invited it for talks, but it has refused. Over the last year, the government has arrested over 1,500 members of the Nepal Communist Party.
According to the data provided by Nepal Police, since baning the party on March 12 last year Nepal police have arrested a total of 1576 members of the party until March 6.
“Off the arrestees, 1271 were released after the case was filed while 136 were sent to prison until the final verdict and 84 of the cases are still under investigation,” states the data.