Attacks on leaders continue uncheckedViolence has reared its ugly head once again, more than a decade after the end of the Maoist war during which violent activities had become the order of the day, with candidates for the upcoming elections and their poll rallies being targeted almost every day.
Violence has reared its ugly head once again, more than a decade after the end of the Maoist war during which violent activities had become the order of the day, with candidates for the upcoming elections and their poll rallies being targeted almost every day.
With security officials drawing a blank, except pointing to the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal, an offshoot of the CPN (Maoist Centre), growing incidents of attack in various parts of the country have emerged as a serious challenge to upcoming provincial and federal polls slated for November 26 and December 7.
Scores of people were injured in blasts in various districts on Thursday.
A day after senior Nepali Congress (NC) leader Ram Sharan Mahat had a close shave when an IED targeting him in Nuwakot exploded seconds after his vehicle had moved past, the party’s another senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel was targeted in Tanahun on Saturday. The blast damaged Poudel’s vehicle and injured one of his security guards, but he managed to escape unscathed. “He (Poudel) was on the front seat. The passenger seat window on the left side has been damaged,” said Surya Chandra Basnet, an aide to Poudel. The NC leader was attacked in Bhanu Municipality-10 while he was on his way to Lamjung to address an election rally.
Incidents of blast were also reported in Rautahat, Bhojpur, Okhaldhunga, Lamjung and Sindhupalchok among other districts.
In Rautahat, assailants detonated explosives near the programme venue of the left alliance in Chandrapur Municipality-5, injuring nine persons. Sarita Rai, 31, and her seven-year-old son Jaibik Rai, Laxmi Rai, 45, and Kunta Khatri, 48, of Chandrapur-1 have sustained serious injuries, police said.
They have been taken to Chitwan Medical College for treatment. The blast took place when participants of a ward level gathering of the left alliance were having snacks after the end of the programme. “There was a cloud of dust and smoke all around,” said Yamuna Kafle who was injured in the incident. Chief District Officer Uddav Bahadur Thapa, along with security officials, reached the site soon after the incident. Preliminary investigation showed it was a “pressure cooker bomb”, said Thapa.
Similarly, a CPN-UML activist was injured when an IED went off in Temkekaiyung-7 of Bhojpur. The incident took place when he was returning after attending an election rally on a motorcycle. Inspector Dev Narayan Yadav and ASI Umesh Mehata sustained shrapnel injuries as they attempted to remove the explosives. Likewise, explosives were detonated targeting a UML poll rally in Kulung in the district. In Lamjung, an IED planted at Besisahar was defused by a bomb disposal team.