Authorities vigilant of CPN activistsAs the government considers the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal as a major threat for the first phase of local elections, Nepal Police has started mass arrests of the party’s cadres charging them with running anti-election campaigns.
As the government considers the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal as a major threat for the first phase of local elections, Nepal Police has started mass arrests of the party’s cadres charging them with running anti-election campaigns.
According to the Nepal Police headquarters, a total of 108 cadres of the party have been arrested. Senior Superintendent of Police Sarbendra Khanal said a majority of the arrests were made in the mid-western districts. He said 19 cadres were caught in Rukum, 13 in Bardiya, seven in Dailekh, five in Jajarkot and four in Salyan, among other districts.
“These people will be charged with public offence,” said SSP Khanal. The arrestees were either involved in obstructing election campaigns or were coercing people not to cast votes. They were also involved in arson and vandalism.
The CPN was on the watch list of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Integrated Security Plan says they have witnessed increased activities of the party mainly in the Hills, suspecting their involvement in deterring voters and planning to incite violence in voting booths and centres.
SSP Khanal said they have “zero tolerance” against the people and groups who conduct anti-election activities and obstruct any election-related programmes.
On Sunday five cadres of the CPN were arrested from Mahottari and Kavre for their illegal activities. In Mahottari, three persons, including a member of the Janakpur Bureau of the CPN, were arrested in possession of improvised explosive devices. Four supporters of the party were caught torching a jeep in Dhulikhel, Kavre.
The government had initially decided to deploy 226,000 security personnel, including 75,000 temporary police, for the local elections. However, after the government decided to conduct the elections in two phases, the ministry is planning to deploy around 110,000 security members including 23,000 Nepal Police and 25,000 temporary police for the first round of voting on May 14.
According to the election security plan, the Nepal Police will hold the command of the voting centres and booths while the Armed Police Force will act as backup. The Army will be mobilised in the peripheral areas of the polling stations while the temporary police will arrange voters in manageable queues.
Police sources said the Home Ministry has directed them to arrest CPN cadres at sight if their activities pose a major threat in the districts. The chief district officer, who chairs the district security committee, can decide on the matter based on their security assessment.
Chand had announced his own party in December 2014 after leaving the CPN-Maoist led by Mohan Baidya, saying that Baidya was “incapable of leading the party and taking the class struggle forward”. Its name CPN Maoist was changed to CPN recently.
Chand, a firebrand leader of the Maoist movement in Nepal, believes that the “Maoist revolution is not over yet”. He has been making a pitch for another armed struggle.
Deepak Manange caught
Police on Sunday evening arrested notorious gangster Deepak Manange from Thamel, charging him with plotting to influence the local vote. The Metropolitan Police Range, Teku arrested Manage, who is in custody for five days on the charge of public offence.
“We found that he has been deploying groups to various areas inside Kathmandu to influence election,” said SSP Chhabilal Joshi, chief of the MPR.
Manange had joined the Rastriya Prajatantra Party a few months ago. Police said he is still active in extortion and other illegal activities.