Nepali youth slaps Prachanda, detained

A young activist slapped Maoist chief and former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda in full public view here during a tea-party for leaders from different political parties, including Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai.

Padam Kunwar, a student of Tribhuvan University, first shook hands with Prachanda and then slapped him on the face, breaking his glasses. Angry Maoist youths immediately pounced on Kunwar, who had be rescued by the police.

He started bleeding profusely from his nose and face following the assault by Prachanda's supporters. Police said Kunwar was under detention and was being treated at Birendra Police Hospital.

The Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists had hosted the tea-party to jointly celebrate Dusshera, Diwali, Chhath and Nepalese New Year.

Riot police was immediately deployed at the venue after the incident and an additional posse of police was rushed to take Kunwar safely to the hospital.

Meanwhile, the Home Ministry held an emergency meeting of security agencies and constituted a three-member committee, headed by Additional Inspector-General of Police Nabaraj Dhakal, to probe the attack on Prachanda.

Some even said the attack on Prachanda may have been "pre-planned".

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