Nepali Times Asian Paints
Nation
1 September, 2004



Here is a chronology of the Nepali hostage crisis in Iraq. Terrorists from the shadowy Ansa al-Sunnah group never made any demands, never gave a timetable for negotiations. The visuals of the brutal slayings that became public on Tuesday were as sudden as they were shocking.

19 August: The Ansa al-Sunna website says 12 Nepalis have been taken hostage in Iraq, Nepali media picks it up

20 August: The says it has video footage of the hostages, who pleaded for their lives and blamed an agent, Pralhad Giri of Moonlight Consultants, for their plight. All Nepali television channels air the footage

23 August: The government makes an appeal through the Al Jazeera television for the release of the hostages. Nepali diplomats in Riyadh and Doha say they are unable to establish contact with the kidnappers, nor ascertain what their demands are

26 August: The government writes to the Iraqi government requesting it play a role in releasing the hostages

31 August, 3PM: International news agencies quote a website announcement that the 12 hostages have been killed, news spreads quickly through the Nepali media.

6PM: Most television channels show what are said to be the dead bodies of the 12 Nepali workers.

6.30 PM: Ambassador Shyamananda Suman in Qatar says it is true. The government confirms the incident.

8PM: A group of 20 protestors turn up on the street at Maitidevi and move on to other areas, pulling down and tearing off signs of labour recruitment agencies. At Ghanta Ghar, they pelt stones at a mosque and continue back to Kupondole. By then the number of protestors is more than 150 and they start searching for the office of Moonlight Consultants. Some mistake a private house for the office and start hurling stones. After midnight, protestors disperse.

1 September, 6AM: Protestors appear in several clusters at intersections in Kathmandu and Patan burning tyres and obstructing vehicles. Some fan out looking for offices of recruitment agencies. Those located at central areas like Putali Sadak, Bag Bajar and Baneswor are the first to be ransacked.

7.30 AM: some 100 protestors reach Ghantaghar chanting slogans against 'Islamic terrorists'. There they pelt stones at the mosque, some enter the premises, and even climb to the roof. The mosque is damaged. Police appear on the scene and take control of the situation.

After 8AM: Protestors intensify their search for labour recruiters, take out all furniture and papers and set them on fire on the street.

9AM: Police Headquarters says security agencies have been mobilised to bring the situation under control.

11AM: A group of protestors enter the Kantipur Publications, manhandle employees, pelt stones and go on a rampage for two hours. Police are nowhere to be seen. A dozen vehicles are set on fire.

12 noon: The government announces a curfew within the Ring Road areas of Kathmandu and Patan from 2:00 pm.

1PM: Protesters advance towards the Egyptian Embassy at Pulchok. Security personnel try to stop them and finally open fire. One protestor is killed and three injured.

1.30 PM: Protestors and security personnel clash near Ratna Park. One person is seriously injured and is rushed to the hospital, where he dies. At least one dozen other protestors are injured.

1.30 PM: Demonstrators ransack, loot and set fire to the Kathmandu office of Qatar Airways. The airline suspends its twice daily flights to Kathmandu. Other Middle East airline offices are vandalised in Hatisar.

1.45 pm: Spacetime Network is attacked. The news studio of Channel Nepal is destroyed and the company closes broadcasts. Officials charge the government with not providing security despite repeated requests.

2PM: The situation cools down as the curfew goes into effect.


CHRONOLOGY OF ANGER
PHOTOGRAPHS by KIRAN PANDAY


Tyre pyres in Maitighar just before the curfew was announced


Demonstrators looting an office building in Tripureswor on Wednesday at noon


A recruitment agency in Pulchok next to the Egyptian Embassy is ransacked



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