KATHMANDU, Feb 24: When Sim Prasad Gurung was passing by the Ncell headquarters gate at Nakkhu, Lalitpur he noticed a suspicious object. Concerned by it, he parked his car (Ba 20 Cha 1032) alongside the road and headed toward the gate to ask about it. Just as he stepped toward the object, it exploded. Shrapnel from the blast riddled his body. Gurung, 49, was returning home after visiting friends at Bhaisepati. He was a retired member of the Singapore Police.
“Shortly after learning of the incident I came to Kathmandu thinking his condition was not serious. But he had died before I reached capital,” said Dhan Kumari Gurung, a sister-in-law.
Eyewitnesses say it was an improvised explosive device (IED) that exploded at the gates of Ncell, a private telecommunications company struggling to pay its taxes to the government. “There was a huge explosion and Gurung was thrown aside. Police arrived shortly after and he was rushed to hospital,” said one eyewitness. “We started running for safety and so couldn’t find out anything more.”
The badly injured Gurung was first taken to B&B Hospital, but they couldn’t treat him there and referred him to MediCity Hospital. Both legs were broken, a hip was fractured and vital nerves were damaged. Doctors pronounced him dead Friday night.
Gurung hailed from Sothar Rural Municipality in Lamjung. According to the family, he had returned to Nepal after retiring from the Singapore Police. He was living at his house at Bhaisepati, Lalitpur.
Gurung is survived by his wife, two daughters and son. The older daughter is studying in Australia and the younger children are in grades six and one respectively. The daughter in Australia is arriving back on Sunday and other family members are coming to Kathmandu from Lamjung.
He will be cremated after all the relatives arrive.
An autopsy has already been conducted, informed DSP Apilraj Bohara at Metropolitan Police Range.
Sources say a unit at police headquarters already had information that the Biplab-led Nepal Communist Party was planning IED attacks in various parts of Kathmandu. The police chiefs in the three Valley districts were alerted.
But they were unable to track down any further information.
Another device placed in Kathmandu was defused by the army the same evening.
The two others injured in the Nakkhu blast—Pratikshya Khadka, 26, and Usha Manandhar, 25 -- are still at Medicity Hospital. Manandhar is a staff nurse at MediCity and Khadka is a local of Bagdol.
Police have arrested six persons so far in connection with the incident, including two security guards at the NCell compound. The two are said to be ex-army personnel. Police suspicions were aroused after watching CCTV footage, it is learnt.