Police arrest two Chand outfit members in Kavre after exchange of fireWith the government deciding to brand the Communist Party of Nepal, led by Netra Bikram Chand, a criminal outfit and crack down on its activities, police have swung into action.
With the government deciding to brand the Communist Party of Nepal, led by Netra Bikram Chand, a criminal outfit and crack down on its activities, police have swung into action.
On Tuesday, a special team deployed from the Metropolitan Crime Division arrested four cadres of the Chand outfit from Kathmandu and Kavre.
According to the division, Num Bahadur BK, 30, and Dikendra Rai, 35, were arrested from Kathmandu, while Shiba Dhimal, 33, and Bishal Tamang, 33, were arrested from Kavre.
“The arrestees are major suspects behind the two explosions in the Capital. They were also involved in planting an improvised explosive device in front of Angan, an eatery on February 22. They are being investigated,” SP Kedar Dhakal of the division told the Post.
On February 22, there was a blast in Nakkhu which killed one person and left two others injured. Similarly, more than a dozen telephone towers of Ncell, a private sector mobile company, across the country were set on fire. On the same day, an improvised device planted at Angan restaurant was defused. The second explosion took place at the residence of Rohan Gurung, a foreign employment agency operator, on March 8 at Basundhara, Kathmandu.
The two blasts in a span of two weeks, ahead of the planned investment summit scheduled for March 29-30, prompted the government to act tough against the Chand outfit, which is an offshoot of the Maoist party that waged a decade-long war against the state from 1996 to 2006.
On March 12, the government said the Chand outfit was a criminal outfit and imposed a ban on its activities. Since then police have intensified security and search to control the outfit’s activities and arrest its cadres.
According to police, Shiba and Bishal were arrested from Kavre after they exchanged fire with security personnel. A team of the division and Kavre District Police had reached Kafal Dada of Roshi Rural Municipality following a tip-off about the hiding place of the individuals involved in the explosions.
“They opened fire on security personnel. We took action in retaliation. We arrested them when they were trying to flee,” said Dhakal.
Some individuals involved in the explosions are still on the run, SSP Uttam Raj Subedi, spokesperson of Nepal Police, told the Post. "Our search operation is on. Those on the run will also be arrested soon.”
Nepal Police has also formed a special task force in collaboration with the National Investigation Department and the Armed Police Force to monitor the activities of Chand outfit and its members to prevent any violent activities. The task force will also suggest the government and security authorities necessary steps to be taken.
While police action against criminal activities—of any individual or group—is a must to maintain law and order, security experts say there is something amiss in this particular case of Chand outfit. According to them, prudent rather than ad-hoc decisions should be made so as to deal with the Chand group, or else they could provoke the outfit to take some bigger steps or retaliate.
“The recent exchange of fire in Kavre has shown that the outfit is somehow capable to retaliate,” Geja Sharma Wagle, a security expert, told the Post. “The Chand outfit is a political group with a political agenda. So the government should follow a political way and coerce them to come to the negotiating table,” he said. “The group must end their violent activities but police actions only will not give a lasting solution. Such steps would only provoke them.”