General

Deuba tells forces to act tough

  • Pledges security agencies resources and support to curbing activities that threaten peaceful elections
- KAMAL DEV BHATTARAI, Kathmandu

Nov 21, 2017-Amid growing cases of attack on candidates and their campaigns, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Monday directed the chiefs of security agencies to foil all kinds of anti-election activities.

In a meeting with the chiefs of Nepal Army, Armed Police Force, Nepal Police and the National Investigation Department, the PM passed clear instructions that there should be “full security” of voters, candidates, polling stations and campaigns.

This is the PM’s first high-level meeting after the security situation started to deteriorate with candidates for the upcoming federal and provincial elections and their rallies being targeted almost every day.

As the violent attacks in several parts of the country emerged as a serious threat for the elections scheduled for November 26 and December 7, the government is under pressure to create a safe environment for people to participate in the polls.

“The PM has ordered arrest of any person who tries to disrupt the election process,” said Govinda Pariyar, press coordinator of PM Deuba. Five days before the first round polling, anti-election activities are increasing across the country. In the meeting, Deuba underlined the need for effective coordination among all the security agencies, promising necessary resources and logistical support for security deployment during the polls.

According to Pariyar, the chiefs of security agencies assured the PM of effective coordination between the forces. They were of the view that in the initial days, there was confusion as to who were involved in the attacks. But it was almost clear now that the Netra Bikram Chand-led CPN is behind the attacks. Now that the threat had been

identified, they said the situation would be brought under control.

Though attacks on candidates and their campaigns have subsided in the last couple of days, security forces are recovering explosive materials and bombs from various parts of the country.

On Monday, police retrieved bombs and explosive materials from Tehrathum, Rupandehi, Rasuwa, Rautahat, Achham and Panchthar districts. Explosives and bombs are being found mainly on the roads and highways. According to Home Ministry officials, security checks and patrols have been increased to check transport of explosive materials.

Deuba also attended a high-level security meeting for Province 3 on Monday, reviewing the plans. In the meeting, chiefs of the security agencies shared that anti-election activities were reported in 15 districts in the past 10 days.

“Except in a few places, it has been identified that Chand’s party is responsible for the attacks on candidates and election campaigns,” said Election Commissioner Sudheer Kumar Shah, who attended the meeting. The meeting also concluded that the security agencies in the districts were not fully mobilised to curb anti-poll activities.

Chiefs of the security agencies pledged to direct their district bodies to take proactive measures to tackle anti-poll activities. “If the role of any security official deployed in the districts is not satisfactory, the EC will give consent to remove or transfer them anytime,” Shah said.

PM Deuba asked the security agencies to effectively control such activities. He drew the attention of top officials to attempts to capture the polling stations and to incite voters for violence.

“We have already identified possible security challenges and will make arrangements for addressing them,” said Home Secretary Mohan Krishna Sapkota.

Published: 21-11-2017 08:35

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