Maoists storm office of Indian joint venture in Nepal

A group of 40 Maoists attacked the office of the GMR, which is currently handling works for the construction of Upper Karnali hydropower project in Nepal, according to officials.

They allegedly burnt the project office, located some 700-km west of Kathmandu, and severely beat up security guards and other staff. One of the security guard was seriously injured.

The engineers of the project had to take shelter in the nearby army camp to save themselves, sources close to GMR said.

Indian Embassy in the national capital has confirmed the incident.

Upper Karnali is originally 300 MW project but it could be expanded upto 900 MW. GMR Group is involved in developing the project after completing works relating to DPR.

The Maoists have been targeting Indian joint ventures and particularly opposing construction of hydro power projects, claiming that these were not in the interest of Nepal.

The Maoists have frequently resorted to anti-India rhetoric even as their leaders have opposed such posturing in in public.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna had raised India's serious concerns over Maoists' growing activities against it, including threats to joint ventures in Nepal during his meeting with the former rebels' chief Prachanda last month.

Krishna had asked the Nepalese leadership to create a favourable atmosphere, including adequate security, to attract more Indian joint ventures to boost Nepal's economic development.

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