Hindu radicals suspected in bomb attacks against three Protestant churches
Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Just hours before a vote that declared Nepal a secular state, four bombs exploded at three Protestant churches in the eastern part of the country overnight Tuesday, the scene of clashes for weeks. The toll from the attacks is three wounded, all policemen. So far no one has claimed responsibility, although leaflets of a Hindu extremist group, who wanted not a "secular", but "Hindu" constitution , were found in front of targeted churches.
The bombs exploded in front of the Church of Jyoti Damak and the Emmanuel Church of Khajuragachi, both in Jhapa district, the area of the Terai. Two other bombs were thrown at the local church of Surunga, in the municipality of Kankai (in the District of Jhapa), where the three policemen were wounded. It is Dev Narayan Yadav, deputy inspector Bharat Karki, Commissioner, and the agent Kedar Paoudel.
At Jyoti Church, two bombs exploded overnight. Pastor N.A. Thulung told AsiaNews: "Fortunately none of the faithful were present, and the only damage is to property."
The tension in Nepal is continuous. For weeks, there have been fierce demonstrations pitting the population and the army against each other over issues relating to the new fundamental charter, the draft of which was approved in late June after years of discord. Only last Monday (September 14) Kathmandu asked the Vatican to cancel Card. Filoni’s visit, scheduled for the following day, because of the tense situation on the territory.
The suspicion that the attacks on churches were the work of radical Hindu groups, is strengthened by the fact pamphlets of Hindu Morcha Nepal, a group of extremists, were found at the scene. Tej Prasad Poudel, head of the district, reports: "We are investigating what happened and who is involved. No one is justified. We will make sure all the culprits to justice. "
The explosions come 24 hours after the last vote in the Constituent Assembly, which rejected the amendment of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal (RPP-Nepal, sectarian Hindu party) who wanted to introduce an article which restores the connotation Hindu religious country into the Constitution.
Following the rejection of the amendment, hundreds of Hindus protested outside the Assembly in Kathmandu. Protesters included Shreeniwas Acharya, a famous guru with links to Indian leaders. Witnesses say that he encouraged everyone here to vandalize churches created after 2006 [when the Hindu monarchy was overthrown - ed].
Laxmi Prasad Dhakal, Interior Ministry spokesman, said: "We are watching for these statements and reiterate that no one is allowed to cause violence in the country. All persons are free to profess their faith and without having to face threats from other confessions".