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Indian diplomat attacked in Nepal

Head of Chancery of Embassy of India in Kathmandu, SK Joshi had a miraculous escape as 4 bricks landed on the windscreen of his vehicle. Anirban Roy reports.

world Updated: Nov 20, 2008 20:11 IST
Anirban Roy

It was a major case of embarrassment for Nepal government on Thursday when an Indian diplomat’s vehicle was attacked in Kathmandu.

Unidentified miscreants on Thursday morning attacked the vehicle of SK Joshi, head of chancery (HOC) of Embassy of India in Kathmandu and damaged it.

According to the officials, Joshi, who was driving to his office, came under attack at around 9.05 am at Lainchaur in Kathmandu’s diplomatic area. This is the first incident of attack on any Indian diplomat in Kathmandu.

“He (Joshi) had a miraculous escape as four bricks landed on the windscreen of his vehicle,” one of the officials said, adding that all the glass-panes of his vehicle was smashed and has also been badly dented.

Students had called for a bandh in Kathmandu Valley on Thursday in protest against the killing of two youths by cadres of Maoist-affiliated Young Communist League (YCL).

The two youths – Nirmal Panta and Pushkar Dangol – who were abducted by YCL cadres a month ago, were found killed on Tuesday evening at Dhading district.

Though the exact cause of the attack on Joshi’s vehicle could not be ascertained, it is believed that the assault was primarily because the vehicle had defied the bandh call. Vehicles remained off the road in different parts of the capital city.

The Embassy of India has sent a strong letter of protest to Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Inspector-General of Nepal Police was contacted to take up the matter seriously.

However, the Embassy of India did not issue any statement on the incident. The Chief Security Officer of the Embassy, Arvind Kumar, also refused to comment.

As there is no quarters for the Indian diplomats inside the embassy campus in Kathmandu, most of them are housed in rented accommodations. Most of them find it difficult to reach office during the bandhs.

Meanwhile, officials of Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said they had no knowledge of such attacks on an Indian. “I don’t know anything about the incident,” Suresh Pradhan, spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry said.