BIRATNAGAR: The mastermind of a blast in Babar Mahal that had left three people dead and five injured has been arrested in Panchthar after four-month-long hunt by police.
A special team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police Bhim Dahal that was deployed by Eastern Regional Police Office, Biratnagar, picked up Raj Kumar Tamang (Lama), who had owned up to the bomb blast in front of Nepal Oil Corporation in Babar Mahal on February 27, from Lungrupa of Bhuspate, Panchthar yesterday night.
Lama (41), who was in police’s most wanted list, was on the run ever since the blast.
Police today paraded Lama at the Eastern Regional Police Office, Biratnagar, before sending him to Metropolitan Police Range, Hanuman Dhoka, Kathmandu, for further investigation.
DSP Dahal informed that besides the blast in Babar Mahal, Lama had masterminded explosions at several places in Okhaldhunga, Hetauda, Sarlahi, Panchthar, Udayapur, Parsa and Bara. Police have also established his involvement in blasts at central offices of Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal and Rastriya Janamorcha in Kathmandu.
Lama, who used names Devraj Lama, Nelson and Bishwokranti to carry out criminal activities, however, tried to defend himself, saying the blast in Babar Mahal was actually meant to protest price hike of petroleum products and that he did not intend to kill people.
According to police, he told investigators that he was sorry for the loss of lives in the explosion.
Lama is said to have a house in Arjundhara Ward No 6 in Jhapa.
Immediately after the blast, Lama had fled to Sikkim, said police, adding that they were finally able to reach him through his friend Madan Tamang.
Police have seized two mobile phone sets, three ATM cards, a set of combat uniform and several documents, which are yet to be studied, from Lama’s possession.
Three people — Krishna Bahadur Tamang, Bir Bahadur Lama and Lal Bahadur Tamang — of Dhading had died and five others were injured in the February 27 blast.
A brief history of bomber
BIRATNAGAR: The mastermind of Babar Mahal bomb blast Raj Kumar Tamang (Lama) is currently affiliated to Sanyukta Mukti Morcha and is the spokesperson and head of foreign department of the party. It is learnt that he started politics with Nepali Congress’ sister wing Nepal Student Union. He later joined the CPN-UML and worked as the coordinator of Nepal Janatantrik Tamang Morcha. The 41-year-old master’s degree holder could not stay in the UML for long and joined Ramraja Prasad Singh’s Janawadi Morcha as central vice-chairman. He even contested Constituent Assembly elections in 2008 from Kathmandu constituency No 3, only to face a disastrous defeat by securing only 119 votes. Two years later, he formed Sanyukta Jatiya Morcha and launched an armed rebellion.