KATHMANDU, July 10: Last rites of slain CPN-UML leader Chhavi Lal Karki was performed in Pashupati Aryaghat on Saturday amidst a gathering of party leaders, activists as well as family members and well-wishers.
Hundreds of UML leaders and cadres participated in the funeral procession that passed through Tundikhel to Pashupati Aryaghat on Saturday afternoon. Participants of the rally shouted against the Maoists accusing them of Karki´s murder.
Earlier, the body was kept at Tundhikhel for paying floral tributes to the leader.
Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal, UML leaders KP Oli and Pradip Gyawali, Nepali Congress leader Bala Bahadur KC and former Chief of Army Staff Rookmangud Katawal, among others, had reached Tundikhel to pay him last tribute. Home Minister Bhim Rawal also attended the funeral.
Late Karki´s body was airlifted to Kathmandu from Okhaldhunga on Saturday morning. An effort to bring his body to Kathmandu failed on Friday as the helicopter could not land in Okhaldhunga due to bad weather conditions.
An unidentified masked gang on Thursday evening severely beat up Karki in Thulachhap VDC-4, Nishankhe while he was having dinner at local Tara Hotel. He died a few hours later while undergoing treatment at a community hospital in the district headquarters Okhaldhunga.
Late Karki had received deep injuries to his head and other parts of the body.
CPN-UML has accused the Maoists of the murder, while the Maoists have denied the accusation.
Karki was the party´s National Council member as well as the member of UML Sagarmatha Zonal Committee. He had contested general election in 2056 BS on behalf of the UML from number one constituency of Okhaldhunga. He is survived by two children and his wife.
Talking briefly to media persons after paying floral tributes to Karki, Prime Minister Nepal said the Maoists were behind the murder. “I am told by his wife that the Maoists had repeatedly issued him death threats,” said the prime minister.
Family members said local Maoist cadres had issued death threats to Karki after he got the Maoists cadres involved in beating up a school teacher Min Bahadur Khadka arrested in May.
While denouncing the murder, the prime minister accused the Maoists of trying to cover up the incident by issuing a "ready-made statement". “The Maoists should cooperate in bringing the guilty to book,” he said.
Likewise, UML Chairman Khanal urged the government to leave no stone unturned in bringing the culprits to justice. Khanal also urged the Maoists to present themselves in a responsible manner to avoid confrontation.