A bomb explosion in the heart of Nepal’s capital killed three people, and injured seven others on Monday afternoon. The blast occurred in front of the office of Nepal Oil Corporation, less than hundred metres from the southern gate of Singha Durbar, the Central government Secretariat which houses the Prime Minister’s Office and key Ministries. Two individuals died on the spot, while a third succumbed to injuries at the hospital.
A little known group, Samyukta Jatiya Mukti Morcha (United Ethnic Liberation Front), called up a private television channel to claim responsibility for the blast. Its coordinator said the blasts were to protest against the recent fuel hike.
Home Minister Bijay Kumar Gachhedar inspected the site, and visited the injured at the hospital. Condemning the blast, he told reporters. “The government has taken this incident very seriously. This is a threat to the security system. Investigations are underway. A political group has taken responsibility and we will nab the guilty as soon as possible.” Mr. Gachhedar said. He added that the government would provide compensation to the families of the dead, and pay for all medical expenses of those undergoing treatment.
Mr. Gachhedar also chaired a meeting of chiefs of all security organs and instructed them to beef up security in the capital. A committee led by a DIG-level officer of the Nepal Police has been set up to investigate the incident.
The opposition accused the government of not providing minimal security to citizens. Former Home Minister Bhim Rawal, of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), said, “This is a result of a completely ad hoc and arbitrary style of functioning. Police officials are transferred on whims, there is no rule of law, and security plans are not implemented. The government has a lot to answer for.”