Lamakers Ask Government to Quit Over Bombings
KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) _ One-third of Nepal’s elected lawmakers demanded in Parliament Sunday that the government resign ″on moral grounds″ for not preventing the terrorist bomb blasts that killed seven people in the Himalayan kingdom.
More than three dozen legislators in party-less Parliament, the Rashtriya Panchayat, called on Prime Minister Lokendra Bahadur and his 24-member Council of Ministers to quit for not safeguarding the people.
All the speakers condemned the government, but nobody mentioned King Birendra by name during a marathon special discussion on the explosions. The blasts rocked Katmandu and three other towns last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
The one-house Parliament, the royal palace and the government secretariat were among the targets of the blasts that killed a legislator and and assembly officer.
All political parties, trade unions, criticism of the royal family and state police have been banned since 1960 in Nepal, an absolute monarchy. The Parliament includes 112 members elected by district councils and 40 appointed by the king, who has veto power.
Meanwhile, another unexploded bomb was discovered and defused Sunday at Khajuri in southeast Nepal, officials said. More than 100 unexploded dynamite bombs have been discovered.
Responsibility for the attacks was claimed Saturday by a revolutionary group seeking to overthrow the monarchy, restore democracy and abolish private property.
Authorities questioned more than 100 suspects Sunday about their possible links with the Janwadi Morcha, or Revolutionary Front, which claimed in statements to Indian newspapers that it had launched a ″great revolution.″
″We have embarked on the revolutionary path to overthrow the monarchy,″ the statement said. ″This is a fight to the finish.″
Home Minister Jog Mehar Shrestha told Parliament the government learned of the claim through ″third parties and other agencies.″ He said investigations had provided ″encouraging″ clues. He did not elaborate.
Among those calling for the government’s resignation Sunday was former prime minister Surya Bahadur Thapa, who was ousted 23 months ago in a no- confidence vote.
″The government has failed to guarantee security of life and property and therefore should resign immediately,″ he said.
Prime Minister Chand was present but did not speak. His opponents indicated they may introduce a no-confidence motion against him this week.
Several lawmakers claimed the bombers had foreign links and some referred specifically to neighboring India.
Ganesh Datta Lekhak told Parliament that 150 to 200 people recently returned from terrorist training camps in India. He did not elaborate or accuse the Indian government of involvement in the alleged training. Lekhak represents western Baitadi District, bordering the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
″We know where the training camps are located,″ said Ramesh Nath Pandey, a Katmandu lawmaker. ″We also know that training in terrorism is not given in nepal.″
There was no immediate comment from Indian officials on the charge, but India has denied similar allegations in the past.