by Narendra Shrestha
After waking up that day*, I scrolled through my twitter feed as usual, and saw a tweet about a bomb being defused by the Nepalese Army at a school in the Lalitpur District of Kathmandu. Within 15 minutes, I received calls from my sources that bombs had been planted in more than six private schools all over Kathmandu. I grabbed my camera and ran without brushing my teeth. I discovered that the team of the Nepal Armed Police Force had disarmed all the bombs and only one was left at Kanchanjangha Integrated Model School which was about to be defused.
As I reached there, policemen were helping their friends to put on bomb disposal suits while others were busy asking local crowds to stay at least 300 meters away from the scene. I saw a pressure cooker rolled in colorful wiring and placed inside a paper box. While the team was inspecting the bomb from a few meters away, I went to take photos of peoples’ expressions.
The bomb was apparently planted by members of the Maoist Communist Center Nepal. According to the news report, the bombs were planted in private schools and colleges in Kathmandu to extract money through bomb terror. Previously, some groups used to plant hoax bombs and to terrorize people. Therefore, I wanted to make sure that this was not fake and was eagerly waiting to see the bomb.
As soon as I heard the sound of the defused bomb, I ran towards the site along with the police officers. The squads were observing the remains of the pressure cooker, but the police prevented us from entering the site, as it might be dangerous. Then, I used my 24-70 mm lens to take the photo of the team examining the explosives. I was able to take that one photo as the squad had started collecting all the materials.
Anything could have happened if it wasn’t a homemade pressure cooker bomb. The sudden incident brought chaos and fear around the school premises and the surrounding area. Being a photographer it was risky for me as well, but I was keener to capture the photo of the bomb than to think about danger, since the number of bombs planted on school premises has been increasing.
Later in the evening, the police arrested two people who were allegedly involved in planting the bombs in various schools in Kathmandu.
*on Tuesday 20th September 2016