Communist Party of Nepal announces stir against crackdown

- NAYAK PAUDEL, Kathmandu

Mar 27, 2019-

The Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal has announced a series of protests in response to the government’s decision of branding the group as a criminal outfit and arresting its cadres and leaders.  

Issuing a statement on Monday, the CPN announced that the party would be organising various protest movements from March 27 to April 7, including a nationwide strike on March 30.

A Cabinet meeting on March 12 declared the CPN a criminal group and instructed the security agencies to arrest its members. The decision followed after the CPN set off a series of blasts in different parts of the country, including the February 22 explosion at the NCell head office in  Nakkhu, Lalitpur, killing one person and injuring two others, and the March 8 explosion at the house of Rohan Gurung, the chairman of Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies in  Basundhara, Kathmandu.

Soon, Nepal Police started detaining CPN cadres and leaders, including Hemanta Prakash Oli ‘Sudarshan’,  the in-charge of the party’s mid-central command; Mohan Karki ‘Jiwanta’, the party’s politburo member; and Bijay Shrestha ‘Prajwalan’, the party’s army bureau chief.

The CPN has demanded that the government release all its arrested members and lift the ban enforced on the party from carrying out its organisational activities. Meanwhile, Nepal Police has said that the agency is committed to restraining all illegal activities of the Chand group, as directed by the government.

“The government has banned all the activities of the Chand outfit. If its cadres are seen conducting any activities, they will be arrested,” Senior Superintendent of Police Uttam Raj Subedi, spokesperson of Nepal Police, told the Post.

A nationwide strike called by the CPN on March 14-demanding the release of its arrested cadres and removing the ban on the group-had affected the normal life across the country. There were sporadic incidents of explosions and arson attacks in some parts of the country. This time, SSP Subedi said, Nepal Police has heightened security surveillance to subdue the Chand outfit.    

“We will increase security across the country to prevent all strikes and protests initiated by the Chand outfit,” said Subedi.

Nepal Police has been actively ferreting out the Chand leaders from their hideouts, with the government steadfast on its decision to take out the group.  

Several CPN cadres and leaders were arrested on Monday as well. Among the arrestees are Ganga Gyawali, the district in-charge of CPN, Nawalpur; Dhan Bahadur Mardaniya, the district committee member of CPN, Parasi; and Ghanashyam Shrestha, the party’s Koshi bureau in charge.

Police also arrested CPN cadre Dhanraj Shahi in Kalikot along with gelatin, gunpowder and detonating cords.

“Shrestha and Gautam were arrested on charge of possessing illegal arms. The duo seem to have a connection with Dev Kumar Limbu, who was arrested with an M16 rifle and a light machine gun in February,” Deputy Superintendent of Police Gyanendra Phuyal of Sunsari District Police Office told the Post.

Published: 27-03-2019 07:19

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