Arrest orders for Bharat Shumsher and Ranadhir Subba
As members of Gorkha Dal intensified their efforts to establish the narrative that the Delhi Accord was against Nepal’s sovereign interests, other parties too directly and indirectly contributed towards enforcing the narrative.
The other parties included Praja Parishad under the leadership of Tanka Prasad Acharya, National Congress under the leadership of Dilli Raman Regmi, and other communist fringes which were yet to be unified.
“The difference was that Gorkha Dal would spread direct terror, and the others worked towards creating a distrust against Nepali Congress and the Delhi Accord”, Singh shared.
“Nevertheless, all of them contributed towards the ongoing political instability within Nepal”, he added.
“They would take out huge protests, hold political gatherings at public locations. Ironically, they protested against the same Delhi Accord which granted them the right to do so”, Singh tells Mathbar Singh .
Earlier, prior to the Falgun 7 Proclamation, formation of political parties and organizing political gatherings were considered illegal.
Facing a situation of political unrest, leaders of NC repeatedly reached out to PM Mohan Shumsher for support, however, he wouldn’t authorize any action.
After PM Mohan Shumsher said Bharat Shumsher wouldn’t listen to him, NC, amidst growing instability decided to take action.
They subsequently issued an arrest warrant for Bharat Shumsher and Ranadhir Subba, and on 11th April, 1951 AD, both were arrested.
An environment of distrust:
Prior to the Falgun 7 Promulgation, during the Rana regime, political prisoners were met with severe treatment. Ganesh Man Singh too had personal experience of the mistreatment by the Rana administration.
However, since the establishment of democracy in Nepal, prisoners were to be treated with certain dignity by law. The same respectful treatment was dished out to Bharat Shumsher and Ranadhir Subba.
“When we decided to arrest Bharat Shumsher and Ranadhir Subba, we had made a calculative risk. What we had assumed was that since the arrest was of a political nature, we would be met only with peaceful political protests. We had underestimated the Gorkha Dal – that was our mistake”, Singh tells Mathbar Singh when recounting the incidents that follow after the arrest of the duo.
“Another mistake we made was in trusting our officers. Since the establishment of democracy, police and army personnel weren’t treated like servants like they used to be during the Rana rule. We believed the betterment in treatment of government employees would make officers carry out their duty with further zeal – however that wasn’t the case”, Singh added.
“You see, a lot of the officers on duty were army officers – and a lot of the army officers still maintained their loyalty to the Ranas” he shared.
The next day, on 12th April, 2021, members of Gorkha Dal launched a coordinated attack on the home of B P Koirala and on the premises where the duo were arrested – leading to a very critical situation in the country.
Home Ministry / B P Koirala’s home is attacked:
On the unfortunate day, the day which B P Koirala’s residence and the Home Ministry was attacked, Singh too was present with him. He had reached there for some work.
B P Koirala’s residence and the Ministry of Home Affairs was the guest house at Tripureshwor, where currently the Department of Customs office is. The ground floor would serve as the ministry’s office, and the first floor was Koirala’s residence.
Around the time Singh reached, Krishna Prasad Bhattarai (Kisunji) too reached the Ministry – with information that members of the Gorkha Dal were planning to attack B P Koirala’s and other Congress Ministers’ homes. He also shared reports that a large procession was headed towards the place where Bharat Sumsher and Ranadhir Subba were held in custody.
At 3 p.m, a large noise was heard outside Koirala’s residence. Koirala, as a cautionary measure, instructed the guards to shut the main gate. However, it was already too late – people were pouring in into the compound.
A few protesters also injured the guards, and snatched their guns.
“Where is that Koirala?”
A faint cry for help.
Singh and his friends would hear such phrases coming close to them. Downstairs in the office, noises of furniture being broken, and other loud noises could be heard.
Koirala’s family members were staring at him in horror – but Koirala was calm and composed.
Downstairs a voice yelled, “Where is that Koirala who ordered the arrest of our young prince (Sano Raja)? Let’s find him and chop him into little pieces.”
Something had to be done quickly.