Nepali police gun down armed group chief

August 30th, 2008 - 4:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu,, Aug 30 (Xinhua) Nepali police have shot dead the chief of an underground extremist outfit called Terai Army, responsible for a series of subversions in the capital, a media report said Saturday. Kaushal Sahani, also known as “Mr. John”, along with his security guard, was shot dead by police in Raghunathpur area of Rautahat district Friday night, news website reported.

The outfit is a relatively unknown militant group supporting the autonomy movement of the ethnic Madhesi community in the Terai region.

It was one of the groups that refused to participate in the 2008 election that brought former Maoist rebels to power and facilitated the end of the Nepalese monarchy.

Sahani has been accused of masterminding several explosions in the capital and elsewhere in the country in the past.

The so-called “Terai Army”, active in southern Nepal’s Terai region, once claimed responsibility for the serial bomb explosions which killed at least two people and injured more than two dozen in the capital Kathmandu last September.

Prior to this, the group also reportedly claimed responsibility for bomb blasts in the southern district of Rautahat.

In mid-May, at least 14 people were injured, one of them critically, when the group detonated a bomb at a busy marketplace in Chandranigahapur in Rautahat district.

Armed groups such as Terai Army are actively involved in targeted killings and kidnapping in southern Nepal demanding separate state for Madhesi people in Terai region.

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