Prachanda claims 'foreign powers' plotting to kill him

Prachanda claims 'foreign powers' plotting to kill him

Prachanda claims 'foreign powers' plotting to kill him

Members of the United Front of Communist Party of Nepal participate in a torch rally in Katmandu, Nepal on Saturday, AP

Prachanda, who just returned from his unannounced visit to Hong Kong, claimed that he has been receiving death threats, especially after his Unified CPN-Maoist party decided to fight for "national independence".

He also claimed that the Maoists had initiated a dialogue with the Royal Palace, a month before the June 2001 massacre of King Birendra and his entire family.

"We had tried to hold direct talks with then King Birendra, and to offer him the post of first President of the country if he had agreed to abdicate," he said. But, the King was killed along with his family soon after that.

Former general secretary of CPN-UML Madan Bhandari died in a jeep accident under mysterious circumstances when he opposed "foreign intervention" in Nepal, Prachanda said, adding he was also receiving similar threats.

Prachanda, who did not categorically name any country, alleged that imperialist and expansionist forces were behind it, indirectly hinting at the US and India.

The Maoists regard the US as an imperialist force and India as an expansionist power.

"No one will be able to defeat us as there will be an army of 30 million Nepalese to fight for national independence," Prachanda said on Saturday

Home Ministry sources said that the government has stepped up security for Prachanda in the wake of possible threats.

Prachanda had visited Hong Kong last week before reaching a deal with Nepali Congress President G P Koirala to form a high-level political mechanism to facilitate completion of the peace process and drafting of the new Constitution. That was his fourth visit to China since August 2008.

Though Prachanda told the media that the aim of his visit to Hong Kong was to impart training to his party's cadres based there, political observers have cast a doubt his real intention.