NC Prez Koirala faces wrath of party cadre, escapes attack
KATHMANDU, Sept 30: A Nepali Congress (NC) cadre, who attempted to attack party president Sushil Koirala on Saturday morning, was handed over to the police for necessary investigation.
Prabesh Basnet, originally from Solukhumbu district, tried to hit Koirala with a wooden photo frame during a general meeting of the party´s Kathmandu Constituency Number 4 at Kapan. Though not very active in the party´s activities, Basnet is found to be a member of NC-affiliated Nepal Students Union (NSU) at Pashupati Multiple Campus, Chabahil.
Witnesses said Basnet all of a sudden made it to the dais when the inaugural session of the function was still underway and the organizers were busy felicitating the top leaders with shawls. “He first beat up the program announcer of the program Shyam Sangat and then to Narbada Pokharel with the photo frame. The glass of the photo frame shattered while beating them,” said NC Central Working Committee member Sita Gurung.
Basnet, who is relative of NC CWC member Ambika Basnet and former NC lawmaker Purushottam Basnet, then attempted to attack Koirala. However, he was unsuccessful in the first attempt. When he made the second attempt, the party´s General Secretary Prakash Man Singh and other senior leaders foiled the assault and saved Koirala.
NC CWC member Gagan Thapa then reached the stage and held him tightly by his neck. The party cadres who were attending the function then beaten up Basnet indiscriminately.
But President Koirala ordered the cadres not to beat him and Basnet was later handed over to police for investigation. “As he was seen talking to his friends over phone after the attack, we suspect that there could be other persons as well behind the attack. We have asked police to investigate through his call details and punish them as per the existing laws,” Thapa said.
Thapa said the party´s Kathmandu Constituency Number 4 has also formed a separate five-member probe committee under Nuchchhe Narayan Shrestha to investigate into the incident.
The injured Sangat and Pokharel are undergoing treatment at hospital. While Sangat has received 14 stitches on his head, Pokharel received seven stitches on the head. It is still unclear why Basnet targeted Koirala. We suspect he could have been incited by someone,” said a NC leader asking not to be named