Booby-trapped blockade in Nawalparasi: RNA finds it impossible to clear

Himalayan News Service

Nawalparasi, January 18:

A bomb, planted by the Maoists on a bridge in the Arun Khola bazaar on Saturday, has caused panic among the locals and travellers alike. Travellers headed for Kakadbhitta from Dhangadhi and Mahendranagar have been stranded on the section of the Mahendra highway.

Commander of the Royal Nepalese Army’s Arhidaman battalion in Parasi, Jit Bahadur Gurung, said it was impossible to go to the place where the bomb has been planted thus making it impossible to remove the obstructions. According to the Maoists, the bomb, planted to make their Gandak region transport strike a success, is the most powerful ever. The strike was organised to protest the killing of their cadres by the forces.

The Maoists have created obstructions by heaping stones on the bridge. A bus has also been placed on the bridge to block the vehicular movement. Driver of the bus, Madhav Bhandari, said the Maoists took away the key of the bus. The Maoists have announced that anyone trying to clear the obstructions would have to face the consequences, locals said.

They said that a clash is imminent if the security forces arrived there to clear the obstructions. The Maoists said they had stationed militia of their no 26 battalion.

The Maoists have also created obstructions in Pragati Nagar, Chormara. The transport strike has crippled life in the district.