(AsiaNews) - Hindu extremists from the Nepal Defence Army (NDA) have issued telephone
threats against Catholic churches, and circulated leaflets ordering Christians
and Muslims to leave the country. Chirendra Satyal, a Nepali Catholic media
official, and Fr Robin Rai, parish priest at Kathmandu's Assumption Cathedral
who was targeted by the same group in a 2009 attack, received threatening phone
7 August, someone called claiming to be the NDA's new chief," Satyal said. "He
thought he was talking to a priest, and hung up when I told him I was not."
next day, the same individual contacted Fr Rai, claiming to be Sangharsha, the
new NDA leader. "In the call, which lasted a few seconds, the Hindu extremist
said that he would plant a bomb at our church if we did not help his group,"
the priest explained. "But when I asked what type of help he wanted he hung up."
Thapa, a member of the Federation of National Christians-Nepal
(FNCN), also received threats. He said that Sangharsha told
him to dissolve the federation and leave the country. According to the
terrorist leader, Nepal is a Hindu nation and Christians and Muslims are not
tensions among religious minorities have forced them to take measures to
protect their places of worship by deploying security guards to avoid attacks.
have started an investigation into such criminal activities," the Lalitpur Police
Superintendent Basanta Panta said yesterday. He added that he would remain in
contact with leaders of the Christian community, and that police would provide
protection to places of worship and other sensitive areas.
months of silence and attempts at reconciliation, the NDA has recently gone
back to armed struggle to create a Hindu state, taking advantage of the country's
instability. Since 2007, Nepal has been without a constitution.
7 August, police foiled a series of attacks against public buildings by seven members
of the terrorist group. Former NDA leader Ram Prasad Mainali was behind them even
though he has been in jail since 2009. To prevent him from communicating with
the outside world, prison authorities recently placed him in solitary
2010, Mainali wrote a letter to Nepal's Catholics asking for forgiveness for
his role in the attack against Kathmandu's Assumption Cathedral. However, his contrition
proved to be a ruse to avoid further investigations into his group.
addition to the cathedral attack in 2009, the NDA claimed responsibility for
attacks against the Union Mission to Nepal, a Protestant organisation, as well
as the United Nations headquarters in Kathmandu and a number of mosques.
group has also been accused of murdering Fr John Prakash, head of the Salesian
school in Sirsya (Morang), in July 2007.