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Ramechhap’s Bethan declared riot zone from Tuesday

- TIKA PRASAD BHATTA, RAMECHHAP

Nov 20, 2017-Ramechhap administration has decided to declare Bethan area of the district as riot zone from Tuesday in view of possible confrontation as election rallies of left alliance and Nepali Congress are set to coincide.

The local administration has banned any form of mass assemblies and election-related programmes in the area by invoking Section 6 (B) of Local Administration Act 2028.

Officiating Chief District Officer Yagya Prasad Sharma issued such order on Monday. According to the legal provision, not more than five people can gather in a public place once the order is put in place.

Police Inspector Rajendra Thapa said that the prohibitory order was issued after both the sides refused to reschedule their election campaigns slated for Tuesday.

According to Thapa, Bethan has been declared riot zone until further notice. He said if the election campaigns are held simultaneously, it could result in violent confrontation.

The left bloc of CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre) has planned a “show of strength” programme in Bethan for Tuesday after they could not convene their prescheduled election programme. The Left bloc’s programme slated to be held at Bethan couldn’t happen after locals barred its federal parliamentary candidate and minister without portfolio Shyam Kumar Shrestha from entering Bethan. Shrestha has been accused of pocketing commission from development programmes in Bethan.

Meanwhile, Shrestha has refuted the accusation of taking commission and has challenged to prove the allegation against him.

Though Bethan is traditionally a Maoist stronghold, huge number of local youths recently joined Nepal Congress after the party nominated Purna Bahadur Tamang (Kancharam) to contest the elections.

To counter the left bloc’s show of strength programme scheduled for Tuesday, the Nepali Congress decided to organise its “show of strength” on the same day.

Published: 20-11-2017 17:51

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