‘Low intensity’ blasts were reported from two churches in violence-hit Nepal on Monday night, hours after the constituent assembly drafting a new Constitution rejected a proposal to declare the country a Hindu state. Police said no one was wounded in the blasts which occurred around midnight at two churches in the far-eastern Jhapa district but a policeman was in grave condition after a bomb brought from another church exploded at a police station. Two other policemen were also wounded in the explosion.
Pamphlets belonging to an organisation called Hindu Morcha Nepal were found at the churches, said reports quoting local officials. The Himalayan nation has been on the edge since the draft Constitution was unveiled last month. Over three dozen people have been killed in violent protests in the southern plains or Tarai region over a proposal to carve the country of 28 million people into seven states or provinces.
The situation became tense on Monday as pro-Hindu organisations disapproved of the constituent assembly’s quashing of a proposal by the Rashtriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal that the nation should revert to its Hindu state status. Nepal was a Hindu nation for centuries until Parliament declared it a secular state in 2008.
Protesters clashed with police when they were prevented from marching towards Parliament. Nepal, governed by an interim constitution for years now, could expect to promulgate the new statute on September 20. There has been pressure on politicians to speed up the drafting process that began seven years ago.