Police told to arrest Chand party cadres

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Nov 12, 2017-The Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) has ordered on-sight arrest of the cadres of the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal in the wake of attacks targeting election candidates in various districts.

The ministry has instructed the chief district officers across the country to arrest Chand’s supporters and watch any anti-election activities aimed at disrupting the upcoming federal and provincial elections scheduled for November 26 and December 7.

“We are concerned over the recent attacks. Security forces will take measures to ensure that candidates can campaign peacefully,” said Narayan Prasad Sharma Duwadi, spokesperson for the ministry.

Duwadi said the District Security Committee led by the CDO has been asked to reassess the security threat on the candidates. If the committee thinks additional measures are necessary, corresponding plans would be welcome.

On Saturday, Barsha Man Pun, former finance minister and federal parliament candidate from Rolpa, averted an ambush aimed at his vehicle. The explosive device was placed on the road in the Madi village where Pun was travelling for his poll campaign. The incident site is 30 kilometres west of the district headquarters Libang.

Pun is the common candidate of the CPN-UML and the Maoist Centre from the district for a member of the House of Representatives.

On Friday, an unidentified group hurled improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at the vehicle of Maoist federal parliamentary election candidate and minister without portfolio Janardan Sharma at Goiri in Chaurjahari Municipality-8, Rukum. No one was injured in the attack.

The IEDs were hurled at the vehicle of left alliance candidate Sharma when he was heading to Simli of Sanobheri Rural Municipality from the Chaurjahari valley to address election rallies and canvass for votes with his team. The perpetrators had targeted the vehicle he was riding as they waited for the first car to pass before hurling the explosives.

Although Spokesperson Duwadi did not comment on party-specific security, other senior officials at the ministry, requesting anonymity, said that the security meetings following the incident focused on the Hill districts of Province 5.

Many previous security assessments have put Rolpa and Rukum on the list of districts as “most sensitive” due to the presence of radical Maoist cadres. Rolpa also remains the original hub for Maoist activism that waged a 10-year war against the state before the Comprehensive Peace Accord was signed in 2006.

The Home Ministry has already instructed security agencies to put in place special measures in the districts where top leaders are contesting the elections. The directive follows consultation with the Election Commission that expressed concerns over the security of top leaders in the fray.

Published: 12-11-2017 07:32

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