terror and Hindu rightwing terror are different: Goa police:
A senior police official
who is investigating the Diwali eve blast carried out by members
affiliated to the Hindu group ......
months after being caught for masterminding attacks on churches and
mosques in Nepal, the chief of an underground organisation that
persecuted Christians and Muslims says he was funded by India's
ultra-right organisations and armed by outlawed Indian militant
group United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).
Ram Prasad Mainali, a 37-year-old Hindu,
metamorphosed from a ticket booking clerk to a ruthless, menacing
shadowy figure who directed attacks that killed at least five people
while praying in mosques and a church after he was aided by at least
four Indian organisations.
"I was opposed to the idea of Nepal becoming a
secular republic," he told IANS, sitting behind bars in Kathmandu
valley's Nakhu Jail where he has been transferred since his arrest
from southern Nepal Sep 5.
"There are over 50 countries that are Christian and
more than 40 that are Islamic. Nepal was the only Hindu country."
However, the sleepy Himalayan nation lost its unique
identity in 2006 when a pro-democracy movement unseated the
army-backed government of King Gyanendra and parliament declared it
a secular nation in a bid to cut off the popular power base of the
monarch who was regarded by many as an incarnation of a Hindu god.
In February 2007, when it was clear that Nepal was
heading towards an election to abolish the world's only Hindu
monarchy as well, Mainali says he and his followers held a meeting
in the Birla Temple in New Delhi to discuss forming an organisation
that would strive to restore Hinduism as Nepal's state religion.
"The meeting was between us and members of the Vishwa
Hindu Parishad, Shiv Sena, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Bajrang
Dal," he claimed.
"They approved and agreed to fund us. The meeting
also discussed resorting to violence if our effort failed and
endorsed it. Every month, the Indian groups sent us money - between
NRS 200,000-500,000 through secret channels."
Initially, Mainali says his Nepal Defence Army (NDA)
ran rallies for nine days in Birgunj, Nepal's industrial hub and the
main trade route between India and Nepal, opposing secularisation
and the abolition of monarchy.
However, after the ruling parties ignored the call,
despite the public support it enjoyed, Mainali said the NDA decided
to go underground and begin a campaign of violence targeting
Christians and Muslims.
It used the funds sent from India to buy arms and
explosives from the ULFA in Assam in northeastern, Mainali says.
The link occurred possibly because Mainali himself is
from Morang district in eastern Nepal.
members threw bombs at two mosques in southern Nepal, killing two
Muslims during prayer. It also planted a bomb at one of the oldest
churches in Kathmandu valley in May, killing three women during mass
and triggering worldwide condemnation.
The outcry caused the Nepal government to start a
manhunt as never before and both Mainali and his accomplice, the
woman who planted the bomb inside the Assumption Church, were
Police have already charged Sita Thapa, the
accomplice, with murder while Mainali is under detention as
investigations continue into his links.
says the NDA is still intact though inactive. However, once he is
released, it will resume activities.
But he says he will switch tacks to political
activity and abjure violence. He is also not sure whether he wants
to continue the campaign for a Hindu state.
"During my imprisonment, not a single Hindu came to
meet me," he says bitterly. "Then who was I fighting for?"
On the other hand, he is regularly visited by
Christian missionaries who have forgiven him. He has also been
embraced as their brother by the prisoners in Nakhu Jail, many of
whom converted to Christianity after imprisonment.
"I regret the deaths," he said. "We lacked planning.
The intention was to attack the leaders who had abolished Hinduism
as the state religion in Nepal, not ordinary people."
However, he still supports the idea of a monarchy in
"In the past, you had to make offerings to just one
ruler," he says.
"Today, there are 601 rulers and each has to be
He is referring to the newly elected 601-member
constituent assembly that is writing a new constitution to decide,
for once and for all, that Nepal should be a federal republic.
"But I am not advocating for deposed king Gyanendra,"
he says. "I am simply arguing for monarchy."