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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

‘Missing Prachanda’ is big news in Nepal

A 'disappearing act' by Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda', chairman of Nepal's ruling Maoist party, had led to a bevy of speculations about his whereabouts.

world Updated: Sep 11, 2011 22:44 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times

A 'disappearing act' by Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda', chairman of Nepal's ruling Maoist party, had led to a bevy of speculations about his whereabouts.

The former prime minister, his wife Sita and son Prakash went missing from Biratnagar airport in eastern Nepal since Friday. He resurfaced in the same airport on Sunday after a gap of nearly 40 hours.

In the interim no one including senior leaders of his party and the police administration seemed to have a clue about the secret trip.

Dahal told newspersons at Biratnagar on Sunday that Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, security officials and some senior leaders of Nepali Congress party were aware about where he had gone.

"I was in Nepal and it was not a secret trip," he said without disclosing where he had stayed. Prachanda added that it was a personal trip related to family matters and it was successful.

News reports on Sunday had speculated that Prachanda, one of Nepal's most heavily guarded politicians, might be in Siliguri, a town in West Bengal in neighbouring India, or relaxing at an undisclosed location within Nepal.

The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) chairman was last seen at Biratnagar airport in eastern Nepal. He had reached there after attending a party function at Gorkha district on Friday.

Unconfirmed reports said Prachanda was in Siliguri to patch up differences between his daughter Ganga and son-in-law Narayan Bikram, an Indian citizen who's son of Badri Narayan Pradhan, a former MP based in the West Bengal town close to the Nepal border.

Another theory mentioned the Maoist chief reached Siliguri to hold talks with senior officials of Research and Analysis Wing, India's external intelligence agency about the country's present political situation.

While most reports stress on both these possibilities there were some other rumours as well. One speculated Prachanda must be holding a secret meeting with Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala to negotiate a deal on the delayed peace process.

In a front page report, 'The Republica' quoting an unnamed Maoist leader said Prachanda is in Bhedetar, a small hilly town in eastern Nepal to take rest for a few days.

"There were reports that he had gone to Siliguri via Jhapa. But they have not been confirmed," the 'Kantipur' quoted Tarini Prasad Lamsal, police chief of Jhapa district bordering West Bengal.

Despite repeated attempts, Maoist spokesperson Dinanath Sharma could not be contacted to get the party's official version about the 'missing chairman'.

First Published: Sep 11, 2011 13:41 IST

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