Blast aimed at disrupting social fabric: Nepal

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal today inspected the Assumption Church and also visited the injured - in yesterday's explosion - at Alka Hospital.

He promised probe and punishment for the guilty.

He urged religious minorities - the Christians and Muslims - to be vigilant in the face of such heinous attacks.

Condemning the incident, he maintained that the blast was intended to disrupt the social fabric. He told media persons that stern action would be taken against those, who would try to destabilise social harmony.

Two people, including a school girl, were killed and a dozen others were injured in the explosion, reportedly engineered by Nepal Defence Army- a little-known outfit of the Hindu fundamentalists.

Meanwhile, regular prayers started at the church from 9 this morning.

According to Chirendra Satyal, media officer of the church, both the Catholic and Protestant priests were present during the prayer held at the church this afternoon.

Politicians KP Oli, Pampha Bhusal, Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Dina Nath Sharma and member of National Human Rights Commission Dr KB Rokka also attended the service. Muslim leaders, too, visited the church this evening.

Security has been beefed up at the church.

"We have become alert. The condition of two critical patients Buddha Laxmi Joseph and Sun Maya Tamang is stable," said Satyal.

The body of Deepa Patrick - one of the victims - will be taken to Patna.

While, Celestina Joseph's funeral would depend on her mother's condition, who is still believed to be critical.

Of the injured, four are undergoing treatment at Alka Hospital and five are being treated at Patan Hospital.

A joint meeting of the churches has urged the government to strengthen security and extend help to the injured. The Committee to Suggest the Constituent Assembly on Christian Issues will organise an all faith peace rally across the nation at 7 am next Sunday.

Several organisations working for the welfare of children today condemned yesterday's blast in Assumption Church at Bhanimandal, Lalitpur.

Child Workers in Nepal Concerned Centre claimed that the attack on the church was targetted to break the religious tolerance between different religious communities of the country. CWIN argued that the attack was not only on religion but also on the rights of the children.

Issuing a press statement on Sunday, CWIN claimed that the blast was pre-planned by criminal groups.

Child NGO Federation-Nepal said attacks in civilian areas is against Geneva Convention and is also against the human rights declaration.

The NGOs have demanded strong action against the culprits and thorough investigation into the incident.

They also urged the government to be more alert to avoid such attacks.