Muslims protest mosque blast

Sunsari, October 5:

Muslim followers protesting last night’s blast in Jame mosque at Pothiyadham in Hattimuda of Morang district staged demonstrations and halted traffic in different places in Sunsari and Morang today.

The agitators blamed the government for failing to step up security around mosques at a time when bombs are being detonated targeting a number of mosques.

The demonstrations brought life to a grinding halt in Biratnagar. Traffic on the Biratnagar- Itahari road came to a halt due to demonstrations.

The agitators burnt tyres in a number of places, including Khanar, Sonapur and Duhabi in Sunsari and Nemuwa, Bansbari and Biratnagar submetropolis in Morang district.

Wielding sticks, the agitating youths enforced the closure of shops and markets in the districts.

Passengers bound for different destinations were stranded in Biratnagar. With a view to preventing untoward incidents, the administration in Sunsari and Morang has beefed up security in Sonapur, Duhabi and Biratnagar.

The Nepal Defence Army (NDA) has owned up to yesterday’s explosion in the Hattimuda mosque.

Police personnel recovered pamphlets of the NDA from the site and adjoining areas.

Local residents said a bomb was hurled targeting the mosque by six persons, who were talking in front of the mosque.

They said four people were injured in the blast. The injured have been undergoing treatment in Biratngar.

The local administration and representatives of political parties have urged the agitators to be alert about the possible infiltration of undesired elements.

Saying that six blasts have been carried out targeting mosques in course of six months, the Muslims of the eastern region have demanded that the government come up with a special security policy to prevent attacks on religious sites.

Three persons were killed when the Nepal Defence Army detonated bombs in the Chhoti Jame Mosque at Saruchiya of Biratnagar on March 29.