The Home Ministry Attack: An unfortunate incident, but not totally unforeseen

A tense situation inside B P Koirala’s residence:

Listening to the commotion downstairs at the office of the Home Ministry – people yelling in pain, the sounds of furniture breaking, the reactionaries screaming loud profanities – the situation upstairs, at Koirala’s residence became quickly tense.

Inside his apartment, besides party friends which included Ganesh Man Singh, Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, Rameshwor Prasad Singh, Hora Prasad Joshi, and Bal Krishna Gupta, Koirala’s family members were also present. Koirala’s mother Divya Koirala, wife Sushila Koirala, and their infant son Prakash were in the next room.

There was a strange stillness in the air – a sense of fear within everyone’s eyes except B P Koirala.

“Koirala Ji remained calm and composed – although calculating his next move”, Singh told Mathbhar Singh.

Everyone sat still; no one uttered a word, and listened intently to the noises coming from downstairs. After realizing the reactionaries were not going to stop advancing, Koirala opened the cupboard used for storing their weapons.

Taking a revolver for himself, Koirala made a sign to Singh to distribute the weapons to everyone inside the room. Singh obliged, and after assessing the situation, handed the best gun to Rameshwor.

“Rameshwor had a sterling reputation for being a sharp shooter – not only within NC, but also with Rana leaders. He had grown up in the fields of Saptari, and had been hunting since a small age. Owing to his shooting abilities, even Ranas would take Rameshwor along with them in their hunting expeditions”, Singh shared.

After distributing the guns, everyone assumed their positions. Through the corner of his eye, Singh could see B P Koirala loading his revolver with bullets – preparing for the worst.

All this without a single word in the room – there was pin drop silence.

Reactionaries break open Koirala’s main door:

The noises were drawing closer – they could hear them climbing up the stairs. All of a sudden there was banging on the main door. It was only a matter of minutes before the wooden door would yield.

“Everyone’s eyes were on the door. We were very nervous.” Singh shared.

“Someone was attacking the door with a Khukuri, someone was kicking it, and the door was giving way”.

“There was a loud noise, and the door came ajar. All of a sudden the Khukuri yielding reactionaries were inside the room”, Singh shared.

“Both of them are here”, the leader of the revolutionaries said pointing out B P Koirala and Ganesh Man Singh. “Kill them both”, he instructed.

A scuffle ensued – a Khukuri yielding man attacked Bal Krishna Gupta, and injured his shoulder.

At the same time, three loud ‘bangs’ were heard.

Bang, Bang, Bang – there was a deafening sound.

B P Koirala, who was taking cover in one corner, had shot at the perpetrator attacking Bal Krishna Gupta.

The attacker fell.

The gunshots alarmed everyone – all of a sudden, the reactionaries fled. Within moments, everyone had left the compound. Only Koirala and his friends and family members remained – still stunned with the events that had unfolded before them.

“We were all in a state of shock – conscious, but unconscious at the same time. Having had a near encounter with death, we were unable to shake ourselves back to reality”, Singh shares his and his friends’ experience of the day.

“Remembering the incident today, I am able to narrate it well. However, at that time, inside the room, we were very afraid. Of our fate”, Singh shares further.

The aftermath of the attack:

It took a while, but everyone slowly came back to their senses – and the first thing everyone did was monitor the situation.

Slowly, they went downstairs – only to be met with one of the worst scenes they had seen in their lives.

People, almost all employees of the Home Ministry were lying down shuffling in agony, and smeared in their own blood. Furniture, office equipment was broken. There were stones and bricks, broken window panes, and smoldering fires.

“It look like a war scene”, Singh shared.

They attended to the wounded – many had had their hands or legs broken, several had deep cuts. They hadn’t even spared the elderly – two in particular, Dirga Raj Koirala and Kali Charan, who were both badly injured were above 75 years of age.

Upstairs, the perpetrator was still writhing in pain – he was bleeding profusely, and did not seem like he was going to make it. He was later identified as Sukul Dhwaj – an ex-army personnel, and the leader of the group who had arrived inside the Ministry to create havoc, and to terrorise B P Koirala.

The unfortunate incident which occurred in B P Koirala’s residence/Home Ministry was not unforeseen – leaders had constantly said that the activities of Gorkha Dal needed to be kept in check to prevent an untoward situation as such.

However, much heed wasn’t given – only to end in a tragic incident. 

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