November 17, 2012 — The leader of Nepal’s 10-year Maoist insurgency was left shaken on Friday when a former supporter slapped the ex-guerrilla across the face, smashing his glasses. Police dragged away 25-year-old Padam Kunwar during the angry confrontation with Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal – better known as Prachanda, or the Fierce One – at a reception in the capital Kathmandu.
“We have arrested him but he is undergoing treatment at hospital after he was beaten up by Maoist members,” police spokesman Keshav Adhikari said, adding Kunwar would be questioned later. The attacker, said to be an alienated former party member, grabbed the 57-year-old’s hand and slapped him hard on the cheek, breaking the former revolutionary’s spectacles, during a tea-drinking ceremony.
Kunwar was whisked away by police drenched in blood after Prachanda’s supporters mobbed him and rained blows down onto his head and face. Barshaman Pun, finance minister in the Maoist-led caretaker government, described the incident as “very unfortunate” and said it raised doubts over Prachanda’s security. The Maoists waged a revolt against the state from 1996 until a cease-fire in 2006, during which an estimated 16,000 people died.
Prachanda’s followers swept him to power in 2008 elections and he was briefly prime minister before standing down following a row over the dismissal of an army chief. Prachanda is Nepal’s third senior politician to be assaulted recently by members of an increasingly frustrated public who have protested violently against a lack of political progress in the impoverished Himalayan nation.
In January last year, a 55-year-old man slapped the chairman of the opposition Unified Marxist Leninist party at an event for new members. In May, a Kathmandu tea shop owner hit a Maoist lawmaker across the face, saying the country’s political leaders had “betrayed the people”. “We have taken this as an anarchic act. This has given a wrong message. It has cast doubts over the security of our leaders,” Pun told reporters.
Prachanda Slapped by Maoists Cadre at Tea Reception Party
Maoists Chairman Puspha Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda was slapped today by a young Maoists cadre attending the tea reception program organized by Maoists in Kathmandu today. Prachanda was slapped by 25-year-old Padam Kunwar who hails from Baglung. It’s believed that Padam Kunwar served as a Maoists Army until last year.
Prachanda was slapped bit toughly and even his specs were broken of the slap. Padam Kunwar in return was severely hurt by the Maoists cadres before taken into custody by the police. Here’s the video footage of padam Kunwar taken into custody after slapping Prachanda as reported by News24 channel.
UCPN (Maoist) had arranged the tea reception to exchange greetings on occasion of the festive season. Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and Vice Chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha were also present at the event.
Previously, Jhalanath Khanal was Slapped in Public more than a year ago and Sushil Koirala was attacked nearly a month ago.
Salute the daring Maoists Cadre who slapped Prachanda amidst their chiya-paan program! One seriously needs guts to do that!!
Image via Onlinekhabar and Video from News24