Blasts targeting candidates cause for concern, say poll observers
Nov 15, 2017-Election observation bodies have said that recent incidents of attacks on candidates for upcoming elections have raised questions over electoral security.
At least five candidates have become the target of bomb attacks since Friday.
On Tuesday, an improvised explosive device (IED) was detonated targeting an election campaign of Kham Bahadur Garbuja, a Nepali Congress candidate for the federal parliament, at Beni Municipality-2 in Myagdi.
Similarly, an unidentified group hurled an IED at the vehicle of CPN-UML leader Sher Dhan Rai, a former communication minister, in Bhojpur. The assailants also fired 21 rounds of bullets targeting Rai. He was on his way to take part in an election campaign in Gogane. His bodyguard Dilli Sapkota sustained minor injuries in the incident.
Earlier, CPN (Maoist Centre) leaders Barshaman Pun and Janardan Sharma were also targeted.
Although security agencies suspected cadres of the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal behind the attacks on Maoist Centre leaders, Chand on Sunday denied the charges.
Mohna Ansari, a member of the National Human Rights Commission, said such attacks on candidates are serious human rights violation. “The government must ensure better security for them,” she said.
“Attacks on candidates have taken place in some remote districts. But, other areas are largely peaceful so far,” said Surya Prasad Shrestha, chairperson of the National Election Observation Committee (NEOC).
Shrestha hoped that the law enforcement agencies would be able to maintain proper security during the elections.
Meanwhile in Nepalgunj, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba said on Tuesday that the government is investigating into attacks on election candidates.
Published: 15-11-2017 08:13