Kathmandu: Businessmen staged protests here Monday after unidentified
assailants shot dead an Indian trader in the latest incident in a
series of gun attacks in Nepal's capital.
Anjani Kumar Chachan, a 40-year-old from Rajasthan who had made
Kathmandu his home for over two decades, died of injuries Sunday
night in the city's oldest hospital within hours of being shot
thrice by two motorcycle-borne attackers.
Chachan, who owned A V Enterprises, a small shop selling leather
bags in the dingy and crowded Ganabahal area, one of Nepal's
oldest marketplaces, was shot in the arm and stomach by two men
around 7 p.m. Sunday when he was still in the shop.
The area had no electricity due to a 14-hour daily power outage
clamped by authorities as part of a severe energy crisis. The two
men, wearing crash helmets to make identification impossible, fled
without being challenged by anyone.
Chachan's wife was in an adjoining room. But by the time she
raised an alarm, the killers had escaped.
Police were yet to make any arrests.
Angered by the killing, other shopkeepers and traders from the
area, joined by 18 business organisations, protested at the Bir
Hospital, surrounding the dead body and demanding security.
Police said they were in talks with protesters to defuse the
The murder of Chachan, who belonged to India's trading community,
the Marwaris, comes within a fortnight of the employee of a
business group, who are the main dealers of Tata four-wheelers in
Nepal, being killed in the Teku area of the capital.
Outside Kathmandu, the situation is worse. On April 6, gunmen
killed the manager of a gas station in Chitwan in southern Nepal.
Killings, bomb blasts, abductions and extortion have become a way
of life in Nepal following protracted political instability and
the failure of a weak government to address any issue of national
importance as it battles for survival.
More than two months after being elected prime minister, communist
chief Jhala Nath Khanal has not been able to expand his cabinet
beyond eight members due to bitter fights with his allies over
power-sharing. There is no home minister with the premier keeping
the portfolio himself.
The growing power outage, police say, has boosted crime with many
killings occurring during power cuts.
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