NC Leader Late Bastola Will Be Cremated Today

NC Leader Late Bastola Will Be Cremated Today

Oct. 14, 2018, 1:04 p.m.

Nepali Congress senior leader and former foreign minsiter Chakra Prasad Bastola will be cremated at Pashupati Aryaghat today. Leader Bastola breathed his last at around 10:20 pm on Saturday in his own residence.

According to a press release issued by Nepali Congress, the body of Bastola will be taken to Nepali Congress central office from 1:30 pm to 4 pm pay final tributes to the deceased leader.

NC spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma informed that Bastola’s daughters are expected to arrive in Kathmandu today.

Bastola was a prominent Nepali Congress leader who played most important role in People’s Movement of 1990 and 2006. Inspired by BP Koirala’s ideology, joined NC during 1960.

He was involved in plane hijacking by NC in 1973 along with Nepali Congress leader Giraja Prasad Koirala, Sushil Koirala, Durga Subedi and Basanta Bhattarai. They had plotted and successfully executed hijacking of a plane carrying state money from Biratnagar.

Bastola who spent jail time with Sushil Koirala at Bhagalpur Jail in Bihar following the hijacking was among the few Nepali leaders who had deep ties with Indian political leadership.

As he had lost the first elections from Jhapa, late Bastola was appointed as an ambassador to India. Former minister Bastola is said to be first person to organise the meeting between NC leader late Girija Prasad Koirala and Maoist Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal.

“In the sad demise of Chakra Prasad Bastola, we have lost a great person. It is generally customary in Nepal to designate one as great and pay "glowing" tributes even when very few take least care of the person,” writes former foreign secretary Madan Kumar Bhattarai in his face book wall.

“It is another story that the appointment took several months not weeks as his case now made more famous by Durga Subedi after publication of the book, Biman Bidroha (hijacking of the aircraft) recently, was hanging in Araria court of Bihar. Foreign Secretary Muchkund Dubey with whom I share simply two things, one as Foreign Secretary and another as devotee of Baidyanathdham that he hails from, is a great scholar of international repute and has shared me many things connected with the development that finally facilitated Bastola's appointment,”writes Bhattarai.

According to Bhattarai, though I did not find any mention about the matter in the new book, late Bastola had given me some startling facts about the whole episode related to hijacking of the Nepal Airlines from Biratnagar on June 10, 1973. It is also notable that he came to India as Civil Aviation Minister to negotiate the resumption of Indian Airlines flight to Kathmandu after the IC 814 hijacking of 1999 when I was serving as DCM in New Delhi as part of my third and final assignment to India. I am reminded of Jyoti Malhotra's despatch in Indian Express something with the words, a former hijacker has come to India to have parleys with authorities to discuss post-hijacking resumption of flights between two capitals.

“He felt that the host country gave little importance unless one is an active politician with direct approach to the powers in both countries. The other dilemma was that the active politician being a diplomat soon found his role badly miniaturised in the labyrinth of diplomatic machinery of both host country and his fellow diplomats who talked of professional diplomacy. His conclusion was that political appointments had two casualties, one of the individual and the other bilateral relations and the exercise had outlived in the changed circumstances.”

“In my long interactions with him, I came to know that he was among few politicians whom King Birendra liked and had confidence. It is a strange coincidence that Chakra Bastola fell into virtual coma on December 29, 2012 (Paush 14, 2069) that was the birthday of the late monarch. He was in a difficult situation for almost six years. This status reminds of at least two great people in politics who suffered in the same manner, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for eight years and Indian politician and once giant killer of Howrah constituency Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi who passed away last year after nine years of such trauma,” writes Bhattarai.

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