JANAKPUR, May 1: The four persons killed in the bomb explosion at Ramananda Chowk of Janakpur on Monday have been cremated Tuesday evening.
The Mithila State Struggle Committee (MSSC) that had been staging a sit-in demanding an autonomous Mithila state when the bomb went off had refused to accept the bodies Monday demanding that the four be declared martyrs.
They accepted the bodies from Janakpur Zonal Hospital at noon only after the Home Ministry assured of providing free treatment to the injured and declaration of those killed in the incident as martyrs. They then took out the funeral procession from Ramananda Chowk where the explosion had occurred.
The procession reached District Administration Office passing through Bhramarpura Chowk, Zero Mile, Sarayug Chowk, Bishwakarma Chowk, Murali Chowk, Ram Chowk, Mahabir Chowk, Janaki Mandir, Janak Chowk, Shiva Chowk, Bhanu Chowk and Kadam Chowk.
Participants of the procession chanted slogans in front of the District Administration Office against the Madheshi Front and the prime minister. They also demanded resignation of the home minister, free treatment to the injured, compensation for the families of dead and autonomous Mithila state.
Nepali Congress leaders Sher Bahadur Deuba, Bimalendra Nidhi, and Constituent Assembly members Ram Saroj Yadav and Mahendra Yadav had arrived in Janakpur on a chopper to pay last respects to the victims at the administration office. Deuba also assured that NC supports their demand for an autonomous Mitihila state.
UML leaders Ram Chandra Jha and Shatrughan Mahato and press advisor to the prime minister Ram Rijhan Yadav also took part in the funeral procession. Central committee member of Madheshi People´s Rights Forum (Democratic) Sanjay Jha also paid last tributes to the victims.
Ranju Jha´s son Anshu, Bimal Sharan´s son Ram Kumar, Jhagaru Das´s son Vicky and Suresh´s nephew Sonu lit the respective funeral pyres.
No headway in investigations
Police on Tuesday arrested the owner of the motorcycle that was used in Monday’s bomb explosion.
Jaya Prakash Sah of Itaharwakad-3, Maottari was nabbed on Tuesday after his ownership was established from the records at the Transport Management Office. Officers involved in the investigations said Sah claimed that he had parked his motorcycle with its handle locked near the area but the attackers allegedly commandeered the motorcycle and planted the explosives at the site of explosion.
“Our investigations and that of Nepal Army have established the use of blasting gelatin in the time bomb that was planted on the bike,” an officer privy to the investigation said. Police have detained Jaya Prasad Chaudhari, who was being thrashed by locals at the scene. Police said Chaudhari’s involvement has not been established and he claimed that he was fleeing in panic after the explosion. Chaudhary is being treated in Biratnagar for his injuries.
The police office said Monday’s blast was similar in nature to an explosion in front of the CPN IML party office on Sunday which was claimed by Tarai Madhes Student Liberation Front Monday’s explosion was carried with an intention of inflicting move damage.
“We are focusing our investigations on Rajan Group which took responsibility for the blast but we are also exploring if Rajan Group had hired another group to plant the bomb,” the officer said adding that Rajan Group’s organization is not strong.