Kathmandu, (PTI): Nepal’s premier-elect Madhav Kumar Nepal on Sunday promised a probe into the blast in a church here which killed two Indians, a teenage girl and a women, in a first such incident targeting a Christian shrine.
A day after he was elected Nepal’s prime minister, Nepal visited the Catholic Assumption Church located at Dhovighat, the biggest Christian shrine of Nepal established in 1995, where a powerful blast took place on Saturday.
Besides two people killed, 15 others were also injured which included four Indians.
He also visited hospitals where the injured are undergoing treatment, said a CPN-UML leader Krishna Shrestha.
Nepal also condemned the attack at the religious place and expressed sadness over the human casualties. He also expressed best wishers for the early recovery of those injured in the blast. Church security has been tightened.
The explosion occurred on Saturday when a Mongolian faced girl carrying a bag came and left it on the floor pretending to go to the toilet, according to the church officials.
The explosion took place shortly after that at a time when some 300 people were busy attending Saturday prayer. However, the well furnished modern church did not have any major damage due to the blast besides breaking glasses.
Today, some 500 people gathered at the church to pay homage to the deceased persons and to wish for early recovery of those injured in the incident.
Bishop Anthony Sharma, Father Robin Roy and Father Bogati were among those who attended the prayer today.
The deceased were identified as Alisiya Joseph (15) and Dipa Paitri (31), both hailing from Patna in Bihar, they said. Fifteen other people, including at least four Indian nationals, were also injured in the blast, police said.
The incident occurred yesterday when the worshipers were performing morning prayers in the church situated in Lalitpur district of Kathmandu.
The injured Indians were identified as Sweety Singh, Binayak Kunwar, Buddhalaxmi Joseph and Father Rakesh — all from Patna. They have been admitted to the nearby Patan Hospital and Alka Hospital.
Police suspect the involvement of the Nepal Defence Army, a lesser known Hindu fundamentalist armed group, in the blast as a leaflet belonging to the outfit was recovered from the site.
Nepal was declared a secular state two and a half years ago after the success of the popular uprising that restored democratic rights ending absolute monarchy and converted the Hindu kingdom into a federal republic.
Satutday’s attack was the first such strike targeting a church in Nepal.