Katmandu, Nepal —Authorities investigating the terrorist bombings that killed seven people in this Himalayan kingdom have uncovered clues indicating possible foreign involvement, a senior spokesman said Saturday.
“A foreign hand cannot be ruled out,” Chiran S. Thapa, the royal palace press secretary, told The Associated Press. “The people of Nepal feel that the coordination and planning (of the bombings) is probably beyond the capability of any Nepali group or persons.”
Thapa did not elaborate, but authorities earlier said an India was arrested while crossing the border with explosive devices.
King Birendra, in his first public comment on the bombings, said the people and government of Nepal were “shocked and dismayed.”
“My government is making every effort to track down the culprits who must be condemned by all those who love peace,” he said in a written reply to a sympathy message from Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
A group calling itself the Janwadi Morcha, or Revolutionary Front, claimed responsibility for the attacks in a statement delivered to an Indian newspaper.
“With these nationwide explosions, a great revolution has been launched,” the group said in a statement delivered to the New Delhi office of the Calcutta based Telegraph newspaper.
“The revolution seeks to overthrow the monarchy, establish a democratic republic in Nepal, abolish private property and attain economic equality and liberty,” the statement said.
It also said the bombings were in reprisal for the arrest of the group’s president, Ramraji Prasad Singh.
Singh was a member of Nepal’s National Assembly in the early 1970’s and was later jailed for distributing antigovernment pamphlets. After his release from prison he went underground and formed the Janwadi Morcha. Singh later went into exile in India’s Bihar state and has called for independence of Nepal’s southern Terai zone.
Home Ministry officials said some 130 people have been detained for questioning about at least eight bomb blasts that rocked the capital and three other towns since Wednesday night, killing seven people and wounding 27.
Government buildings, including the Royal Palace and Parliament, were the main targets.
Officials discounted reports that a group calling itself Samyukta Mukti Vahini, or United Liberation Militia, had claimed responsibility for the attacks in leaflets scattered through the capital Friday.
“This seems to have no basis at all,” Thapa said.
He noted that several of the bombings occurred in towns near Nepal’s border with India. Among those arrested was an Indian identified as Rajinder. Police said the man, no relation to Ramraja Prasad Singh, was stopped in the border town of Bhadrapur and was carrying three explosives, fuses and Dattleries.
Another man, a Nepalese, was arrested near the border town of Janakpurdham with 56 explosive devices. Police said he confessed to being a courier for an Indian in Uttar Pradesh state.
Article extracted from this publication >> June 28, 1985