Bandh cripples life nationwide

Chitwan, July 25

Life was partly crippled across the nation due to the Nepal bandh enforced by Netra Bikram Chand-led CPN Maoist today.

Some incidents of vandalism and arson were reported.

The party had announced the nationwide bandh today protesting the government’s decision to remove as many as 455 squatters’ families from Sagarnath forest in Sarlahi.

The bandh enforces torched a truck carrying drugs at Nipanichowk of Ratnanagar Municipality in Chitwan at around 1:30am today. According to Chitwan Police Chief SP Basanta Bahadur Kunwar, the vehicle was carrying life saving drugs to the capital from Birgunj.

The truck was completely damaged. After the incident, other vehicles were escorted.

Similarly, it has been reported that an unidentified group torched a truck and vandalised another at Yampa of Bandipur Municipality 5, in Tanahun on Monday morning. The trucks were en route to Pokhara from Muglin, said Tanahun DSP Surendra Bahadur Gurung. A group of six persons torched the truck and fled the scene.

However, security personnel brought the fire under control within ten minutes. Police surmised that Maoist cadres might have torched and vandalised the vehicles.

Tourist vehicles plying in and from Pokhara were provided with security escort, said DSP Gurung. Police arrested at least six bandh enforcers from Damauli.

However, Tanahun Maoist In-charge Dambar Bahadur BK refuted his party’s involvement in the arson and vandalism.

Likewise, 10 bandh enforcers were held in Baitadi today. They were arrested while forcing the locals to pull down the shutters of their shops at district headquarters Baitadi. They have been detained at District Police Office.

District Committee Secretariat member Shyam Singh Dhami warned of stern protest if the party cadres were not released unconditionally at the earliest.

Though marketplaces remained open, vehicular movement came to a complete halt in Dadeldhura and other places of the far-western region.

A negligible number of vehicles plied along Prithvi Highway due to the bandh in Dhading today.