‘Murder mystery’ of Madan Bhandari: UML blames others, but has failed to find the truth

NL Today

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Kathmandu: It has been 28 years since then General Secretary of the CPN-UML Madan Bhandari died in a ‘mysterious’ accident, but the mystery behind his death still remains unsolved.

Every year on Madan Bhandari Memorial Day, UML leaders, including other communist leaders, make a commitment to resolve the ‘mystery’ behind Bhandari’s death, however, no significant work has been done yet. The memorial day has just become a ritual for communist leaders to commemorate him, boast about his legacy and renew the promise to solve the unsolved mystery.

On 1993, May 16, then General Secretary Bhandari died in a car accident in Dasdhunga, Chitwan. CPN-UML has long been claiming that it was a murder.

The only survivor of the crash, driver Amar Lama, was also murdered 10 years later after the incident. It left the incident more mysterious.

What the leaders say

Like every year, communist leaders, this time too, vowed to solve the mystery behind the accident, and bring the truth of ‘murder’ out to the public.

CPN-UML senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal issued a statement requesting the authorities concerned to solve the mystery behind the murder.

Last year, chairman duo of the Nepal Communist Party KP Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal said that the government would make a thorough investigation of the incident.

“The car crash is still a mystery. The general public do not want to accept it as a mere accident. The government is committed to bringing the truth out,” a joint statement issued by the Chairman duo read.

Three years ago, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, wife of late Bhandari, expressed sorrow that the death of her husband remained a mystery for almost three decades.

Every year, on Madan Bhandari Memorial Day, leaders garland the statues of late Bhandari and promise to solve the mystery but nothing significant happens.  

Blame game

After the crash, the CPN-UML blamed the then government led by Nepali Congress for not expediting the investigation to solve the mystery. The communist party also carried out massive protests against the then government.

Since the mid 1990s, CPN-UML has been in the government for several times. Commitment to investigate the case gets renewed on memorial day, on Jeth 3, then it is forgotten.

Currently, KP Sharma Oli, who has always vowed to solve the mystery, leads the government, and Bhandari’s wife Bidhya Devi is the president.

Two years ago, Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa said that the government had started an investigation to solve the mystery. Though it is yet to be ascertained whether it was an accident or a planned murder, Home Minister Thapa had called the incident a case of ‘murder’. The Home Minister does not seem to have done more than that. 

Will the truth be revealed?

In 28 years, there has been no significant progress in investigation into the case even when UML has led the government several times. 

Even the ‘strongest’ government led by KP Sharma Oli has not been able to do more than marking the memorial day. Only time will tell if the mystery of his death will ever be resolved.