Nepal moves to punish Indian envoy's shoe attacker

However, fearing a backlash from the Maoists, the fragile government did not seek punishment against the former Maoist minister who led the attack, instead settling on a smaller fry.

Police have lodged a public offence case in northern Solukhumbu district where the Indian ambassador to Nepal, Rakesh Sood, came under Maoist attack in October while on his way to inaugurate India-aided development projects.

Ram Sangharsh Thulung Kirati, the local area in-charge of the Maoists, has been slapped with the charge while police are yet to register any case against Gopal Kirati, Maoist MP and former culture minister, whose tenure had also seen an attempt to sack the Indian priests at the hallowed Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu.

The delayed police action came after India took up the issue strongly, summoning the Nepali ambassador in New Delhi, Rukma Shumsher Rana, to convey its displeasure. The Maoists have been blaming Sood's "interference" for their failure to win the ongoing prime ministerial election and have intensified their campaign against India.

Maoist supemo Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda has been calling India Nepal's prime enemy at a series of public meetings and urging his party and students to take up arms to prevent a military attack by India.

Maoists have also stepped up their campaign against Indian investors, threatening to stop nearly a dozen hydropower projects licenced to Indian joint ventures.

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