Siraha residents feel insecure after spate of violent crimesResidents and bullion traders of Lahan have been protesting on the streets demanding justice for the deceased and other victims of arson and robbery for the past one week.
A series of violent crimes such as murder and armed robbery in the last few months in Siraha has spread fear in the local community.
On Monday evening, an armed gang looted a house belonging to Rajesh Sarada, a Lahan-based bullion trader, in Lahan Municipality-7. In a similar incident, armed robbers murdered jeweller Pradip Bishwakarma and injured his wife in Lahan-23 on April 10.
Armed robbers also looted Bindeshwar Yadav, another local, in Lahan-2 on April 5.
The local people have expressed deep concerns about their safety in light of such growing criminal activities.
A blast at the Lahan-based Land Revenue Office on March 14 left two government employees and six service seekers injured when an improvised explosive device went off at the busy government office.
A 28-year-old man was hacked to death in Mirchaiya Municipality-7 a month ago and one local man of Bariyapatti Rural Municipality-5 has gone missing for the past four days. One rape case and another attempted rape case, according to police, were also reported in the district within the past month.
The local people and bullion traders of Lahan have been protesting on the streets demanding justice for the deceased and other victims of arson and robbery for the past one week.
“Criminal activities occur almost every day in the district. People are in absolute terror due to the recurring incidents of crimes,” said Raj Kumar Kurmi, a human rights activist in Siraha. “People have lost faith in the police and feel that security must be tightened in Lahan.”
The business community has demanded the district administration, security agencies and other concerned authorities to control the criminal activities and provide security. The business community, civil society and general public organised an all party meeting in Lahan on Wednesday which was attended by the Chief District Officer, senior officers of Nepal Police and Armed Police Force and mayor of Lahan Municipality.
“Traders are compelled to move to other locations if the security continues to be lax in Lahan. It is difficult to run businesses in such an atmosphere,” said Abdul Karim, the general secretary of Siraha Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The business community has announced a series of protests from Friday.
Chief District Officer Pradeep Raj Kandel and Superintendent of Police Sidipraj Bhandari assured that they have left no stone unturned to curb the criminal activities and maintain peace and security in the district. “We have launched a special security plan in the district. The criminals cannot be spared at any cost,” said Kandel.
The bullion traders, who have been protesting since Sunday, warned that they would keep their shops shuttered unless the administration assures them safety. “We cannot run our business amid looting, robbery and murder. Our protest will continue unless the district administration maintains law and order,” said Shyam Sah, the chairman of Lahan Bullion Traders Organisation.