Police foil church bombers’ terror plot
Terrorists wanted to cause maximum panic on capital's streets
Police using sniffer dogs to search for more bombs, inside the Assumption Church in Kathmandu (file photo)
March 7, 2011
Police in Kathmandu claim they have foiled a plot by an insurgent group to detonate more bombs in the capital.
They arrested six members ofthe National Defence Army (NDA) linked to Mainali, who is in jail in Kathmandu in connection with his involvement in a series of murders and bomb blasts, including the deadly blast in Kathmadu’s Assumption Church on May 23rd, 2009.
Bharat Khadga, a police officer in central Kathmandu, said: “Six NDA members were arrested with three bombs, weapons and ammunition including 850 gm of explosive powder, and printed donation pads and literature, from Gongabu (in northern Kathmandu) on Thursday. The men who were arrested have confessed to having received guidance from Mainali.”
According to Khadga, the six admitted they came to the capital to detonate the bombs on busy thoroughfares. He said that that the terror may not have been aimed at Christians this time as “their aim was to cause maximum casualties in crowded areas, so as to create fear, that would help them extort money from businessmen and leaders of big industrial projects.”
Mainali, 39, has been in jail in Kathmandu in connection with his involvement in a series of murders and bomb blasts. The NDA also killed Salesian Father John Prakash in June 2008 in Sirsiya (eastern Nepal) and detonated over two dozens bombs in several parts of Kathmandu.
Mainali, a former member of the CPN-UML(Communist Party of Nepal – United Marxists Leninist) and then the UCPN (Maoist) during insurgency, claimed he took up arms to re-establish a Hindu state.
When last visited by a lay parishioner of Assumption Church on the first anniversary of the bombing, Mainali said he had converted to Christianity and was attending Christian prayer meetings inside jail. He even asked for the Catholic Bible at that visit.
But a week later he called the lay parishioner on the phone and asked for money. The lay parishioner declined his request.
Christians had always been suspicious about Mainali’s quick conversion confessions right after he was jailed and dismissed them as a ploy to try to get out through leniency.
Mr. Balan Joseph, whose wife and daughter were killed in the church blast, said: “I had been keeping religious literature to give to him (Mainali) but I do not feel like going to visit him again.”
Fr. Robin Rai, an assistant parish priest of Assumption Church, said: “Our church has installed video cameras in various corners and bags are not allowed inside the gates -- but many other churches, without guards and surveillance would feel tense after these arrests. ”