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NC leader Khadka passes away

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KATHMANDU — Nepali Congress (NC) leader and former minister Khum Bahadur Khadha passed away after multiple organ failure on Friday while receiving treatment in New Delhi, India, NC spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma confirmed. He was 67.

Khadha had been on life support for a week at Appolo hospital after his condition deteriorated critically. He had earlier received a kidney transplant and was taken to India for further treatment in February following complications including kidney, chest and nervous system before dying of multiple organ failure.

A team of specialist doctors including kidney transplant specialist Dr. Sandeep Gulariya, chest specialist Dr. Rajesh Chawal and Neuro specialist Dr. Mukul Barma had attended senior Nepali politician Khadka at the hospital.

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Khadka, who won in all three parliamentary elections from Dang district after restoration of democracy in 1990, held ministerial portfolios for 12 times in his controversial political career.

He had a tainted image outside the party following corruption scandals, but his friendly nature with party workers and a long history of struggle at the time of the party-less Panchayat period kept him popular within the party.

He had been advocating a Hindu state in Nepal and expressing discontent with the new constitution. The NC had decided to send party leaders including Ramesh Lekhak and Shankar Bhandari to Delhi to observe his treatment.

Khadka had lived in exile in India with party founding leader BP Koirala.

The body of Khadka would be flown back to Kathmandu from New Delhi tomorrow evening, according to spokesperson Sharma.

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Tiger population increased in Nepal

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KATHMANDU — At a time when the number of tigers in many countries is witnessing a decline, the population of tigers has almost doubled in under a decade in Nepal, according to a recent survey led by the government.

The latest tiger census report — released on Sunday to mark the National Conservation Day — puts the number of big cats at 235, nearly double from the recorded 121 tigers in 2009, making Nepal the first country on track to meet the international goal of doubling the tiger population by 2022.

The success of tiger conservation in Nepal has been largely attributed to the country’s commitment for the adoption of innovative tools and approaches towards conserving these big cats.

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Although the number of wild tigers dropped by more than 95 per cent since the 20th century, now, for the first time in conservation history, their numbers are on the increase.

According to World Wildlife Fund (WWF), an organisation dealing with wildlife conservation and endangered species, this news can help Nepal become the first country to double its national tiger population since the ambitious Global Tiger Recovery Plan (TX2), a goal to double tiger numbers in the wild by 2022.

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