India comes to Maoist MP's aid in Nepal | world | Hindustan Times
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India comes to Maoist MP's aid in Nepal

world Updated: Aug 14, 2010 16:14 IST

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Overlooking a series of strident allegations by Nepal's Maoists, India on Saturday came to the aid of a woman MP of their party who has been grappling with death after receiving third-degree burns.

An air ambulance was despatched from New Delhi to Kathmandu Saturday to rush critically ill Maoist lawmaker Ram Kumari Yadav to Safdarjung Hospital in the Indian capital for emergency treatment at the department of burns, plastic and maxillofacial surgery after doctors at Kathmandu's Bir Hospital, the oldest in Nepal, said they would not be able to save her.

Yadav, who was elected to parliament two years ago from Dhanusha district in Nepal's Terai plains in the south, sustained horrific burn injuries Friday when she was in the kitchen of her apartment in the capital after a cooking gas cylinder began to leak.

Almost 80 percent of her body was badly burnt and the Maoist top leaders, including party chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, who went to the hospital to inquire about her condition, could only have shocking glimpses of a body bandaged from head to toe.

After the hospital authorities said they would be unable to treat such a severe case, the Maoists, who have trained their guns on India in the recent past with greater ferocity, decided to approach the Indian embassy in Kathmandu for help.

On Friday night, Maoist foreign affairs chief Krishna Bahadur Mahara sent a formal letter to the embassy, asking for help to get Yadav admitted in an Indian hospital on an emergency basis.

The embassy authorities promptly informed the Safdarjung authorities to treat Yadav as a "top priority" case and arranged for the air ambulance to flow her to the Indian capital.

Due to the weather and technical reasons, the air ambulance could not land in Kathmandu Friday night as had been sought.

But by Saturday noon, Yadav, accompanied by family members, had been rushed to the burns ward.

The Indian gesture comes even as a Maoist MP has triggered a furore, accusing an Indian embassy official of threatening him and causing a section of lawmakers to seek the official's deportation.

The Maoists have also been critical of the recent Nepal visit by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's special envoy Shyam Saran, accusing the former foreign secretary of trying to influence the ongoing prime ministerial election in Nepal.

On Aug 18, Nepal's parliament will hold an unprecedented fifth round of vote to choose a new prime minister, more than six weeks after Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned due to Maoist pressure.

The Maoists have been blaming India for Prachanda's failure to garner simple majority in the past election rounds, saying New Delhi was trying to prevent a Maoist-led government in Nepal.