New Delhi has warned Kathmandu that some ‘prominent Nepali politicians’ could be assassinated by al Qaeda and Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives.
A news report in ‘The Annapurna Post’ on Monday claims India’s external affairs ministry sent a letter in this regard to the Nepal government on September 25 through its embassy in Kathmandu.
Based on intelligence from ‘highly reliable sources’ the letter also spoke of abduction threat to Indian diplomats in Nepal and possible hijacking of an Indian or Nepali aircraft flying out of Kathmandu.
“We have received written and verbal intimation in this regard from the Indian side and police and other security agencies have been alerted,” the Nepali daily quoted an unnamed foreign ministry source.
The letter doesn’t mention why Nepali politicians could be targeted or who could be under threat.
It adds some operatives of al Qaeda and IM may have already entered Nepal and could be hiding in the capital or neighbouring areas. There could also be a poisonous gas attack on common citizens, it said.
The warning has jolted administrative and security establishment here at a time when the Himalayan nation is busy planning next month’s South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit.
The report adds India has asked Nepal for more security at its establishments in Kathmandu and other places and also for its diplomats based in the country.
Nepal’s foreign ministry spokesperson Khaganath Adhikari claimed ignorance about the letter. “I have also read the news report. But I have no idea about any such letter,” he said.
However, a senior diplomat in the Indian embassy confirmed that India has shared information of threats and security matters to Nepal both through notes and during discussions. He refused to divulge details.
Nepal has been a favourite hiding spot for terrorists and criminals from India. Last year Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Abdul Karim Tunda and IM founder Yasin Bhatkal and another associate were arrested here.
In 1999, Indian Airlines flight IC814 on way to New Delhi from Kathmandu was hijacked by Harkat-ul-Mujahideen operatives and taken to Afghanistan via Amritsar, Lahore and Dubai.