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5 Indians killed in birthday orgy aftermath
Kathmandu, Aug 5 (IANS):
Published on 6 Aug. 2009 1:42 AM IST
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The aftermath of a birthday bash by local youths turned fatal for three Indian families Wednesday with six people being mowed down in the heart of the capital by an out-of-control car driven by a 21-year-old. Police said Biplab Mansingh Dangol, 21, was hurtling back home from a late-night birthday party when his silver Toyota, exceeding all speed limits and violating traffic rules, plunged into a crowded, one-way lane in front of Kathmandu’s oldest hospital, instantly killing six people. They include five Indians, who were returning home after seeking medical attention, and a Nepali teenager. An earlier report had said that six Indians had died in the accident. All the dead Indians, including two women, are from Bihar. A seventh victim, who suffered serious head injuries, is fighting for his life in a neurological hospital in the capital, police said. Bir Hospital, Nepal’s oldest hospital, was in the eye of public outrage Wednesday with local people erupting in protests. Enraged protesters burnt tyres on the main road, hurled down road dividers and disrupted traffic, which had not normalised even late afternoon. The tragedy occurred around 12.45 a.m. as 15-year-old Sanjeev Gupta was discharged by the hospital. The teenager, whose parents had come from Sitamarhi more then 20 years ago, rushed him to hospital fearing he had contracted diarrhoea, which has already killed nearly 250 people in Nepal. Some of their neighbours came along to help. Sanjeev died on the spot as well as his mother, Krishna Devi Gupta, 40, and uncle, Madan Gupta, 29. Also killed in the accident were their neighbours, Dharmanath Sinha, 50, of Motihari, and his wife, Veena, 46. The sixth victim was identified as Sudan Shrestha from Sindhupalchowk district in northern Nepal. Dipak Gupta, 28, also from Sitamarhi, was rushed to the National Institute of Neurological and Allied Sciences in Kathmandu with serious head injuries. Kathmandu traffic police said the Home Minister, Bhim Rawal, would be holding talks with the victims’ families. Some of them were too dazed to even speak. “I have lost everything,” said Sanjeev’s father, 45-year-old Bhola Gupta. “I am a disabled man and can’t do anything on my own. My wife was running a pavement business and supporting our family. Now with both my wife and son gone, what will happen to me?” Geeta Gupta, 26, wife of Madan Gupta, slumped in the police station, weeping softly. “I have three young children,” she whimpered. “The youngest is just three months old. What is going to happen to us?” Neighbours said Sita is already pregnant with their fourth child. “We want compensation for the families and justice,” cried dozens of protesters who paraded near the hospital with batons, clashing with police. “Hang the killer driver,” they cried. The driver who fled the scene without stopping to help the victims, is absconding. Police said he had three to four friends in the car during the mishap. All of them have gone into hiding. Dangol’s father and elder brother were questioned by police and reportedly said they would help with the investigations and pay compensation to the victims’ families. Blood stained the pavement in front of the hospital while belongings and shoes lay scattered. Nepal has one of the highest street accident rates with police reporting three deaths on an average daily. Rash and drunken driving, bad roads and dilapidated vehicles contribute to the mishaps. However, the tragedy brought Indians and Nepalis together. “We did not think these were Indians and these were Nepalis,” said Gopal Shrestha, one of the protesters who also accompanied the relatives to the police station. “They have been living here for so long, they have become part of the neighbourhood. It is a shock to the entire country.”

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