|HIGH HORSES: Prachanda (CPN-M) and Sher Bahadur Deuba (NC) take to horseback for the long campaign trail in their constituencies in Rolpa and Dadeldhura.|
As the election nears, anti-democratic elements are doing their best to scupper it. A case in point is the explosion in a mosque in Biratnagar, which killed two people. It was a carefully orchestrated act of violence aimed at instilling hatred and anger into the Muslim community.
Although the majority of Nepalis are Hindu, there is equal respect for other religions. But some extremists, taking advantage of Nepal's transitional period, are attempting to jeopardise the good relations between different communities. This bomb attack was such an attempt.
The government should strengthen overall security along with that of religious places. The perpetrators should be brought to justice. This is not just a question of the security of devotees at holy places, it is an attack on the beliefs of normal people. The time has come for the government to prove that Nepal as a secular country has equal respect for all religions and those who target others' beliefs will not be let off. If the criminals are swiftly brought to justice, it will send out a strong message to the people of Nepal and the international community that the government is committed to promoting and protecting all religions and ethnic communities.
The Muslim community, in this hour of grief, must be patient. We know they are feeling humiliated and outraged at the moment but they should know that all Nepalis are with them. Nepal believes in humanity, good will and fraternity of people. We must not let these criminals damage this, and should unite against anyone who tries to do so.