KATHMANDU: Less than 24 hours after a media tycoon of Indian origin was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in southern Nepal, the Indian managing director of an Indian-owned medical college survived a daring attack on his life in the most secure area of the capital Tuesday, police said.
Nagender K Pampati, an MBA from Boston University and the managing director of the College of Medical Sciences in Bharatpur town in southern Chitwan district, was shot at Tuesday evening while he was travelling in his car through Lazimpat, the area in the capital where most embassies, including the Indian Embassy, are located.
Though the car suffered damage, Pampati was unhurt, police said.
The medical college, started in 1996, has a strong Indian presence. It is owned by V. Natraj Prasad from Andhra Pradesh and headed by A.C. Patowary, former director of medical education, Government of Assom, India.
The shooting triggered a manhunt in the capital with police stopping all traffic and beginning a check of passing vehicles.
However, no one had been arrested.
The attempt on the Indian's life comes after Arun Singhania, the 50-year-old publisher of the Nepali daily Janakpur Today, published from southern Nepal, died Monday evening while on his way home.
Singhania, who belonged to the Marwari community of Nepal, received three bullets shot from close quarters by unidentified assailants who accosted him on two motorcycles, police said.
The attack occurred around 6.30 p.m. Monday when Singhania, who had gone out to take part in the Holi festivities celebrated in the Terai Monday, was returning home.
Singhania, whose media group also ran an FM radio station as well as an Internet portal, had returned to Janakpur, the main town in Dhanusha district, on Sunday after a month-long sojourn in India where he had been on a pilgrimage.
Reports said his last port of call was New Delhi where he had gone to see his son Rahul, who is studying MBA in the Indian capital.
Janakpur, southern Nepal's famous temple town renowned for its Janaki temple, remained paralysed Tuesday after the Janakpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry called a shutdown to protest against the murder.
In Kathmandu, industrialists met Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal to warn him that all industries and businesses in the country would be shut down if the security situation did not improve within a month.
They are urging for the formation of the Industrial Security Group the government had promised to provide security to industries, especially in the Terai, where violence has mushroomed since the fall of King Gyanendra's army-backed government in 2006.
The Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) also condemned the killing and held a sit-in before Home Minister Bhim Rawal's office in the capital.
The FNJ said it would stage protest rallies nationwide frm Wednesday seeking the immediate arrest of the culprits and security for Nepal's beleaguered media that remains under attack even four years after the end of the Maoist insurgency.
Four armed groups active in the Terai Wednesday claimed responsibility for the murder.