Kathmandu, February 24
Minister of Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa today claimed that the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal carried out a series of blasts targeting communication service provider Ncell in different parts of the country over the last few days.
The home minister’s statement comes at a time when lawmakers from the opposition ridiculed the government for its failure to maintain law and order in the country.
Replying to lawmakers’ queries at the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee in the Parliament, Thapa said preliminary investigation had found evidence of Chand-led CPN’s hand behind blasts and arson attacks carried out in parts of the country, including the blast at the entrance of Ncell office in Nakkhu, Lalitpur, where one person was killed and two others sustained injuries. “The Chand-led group was involved in these premeditated attacks,” Thapa said, referring to the violent incidents of February 22 and 23.
The CPN, however, has not officially taken responsibility for the blasts.
Replying to queries of NC lawmakers Devendra Raj Kandel and Dila Sangraula, Home Minister Thapa said incidents of blast and arson were carried out targeting the Ncell office and its base transmission stations in 21 districts across the country except in Province 1.
Thapa added that security had been beefed up and search for culprits was under way. “At least 16 people were arrested following the blasts,” he said.
Thapa said the government wanted to address the concerns of the Chand-led CPN politically, adding the government would come up with a special security strategy to maintain law and order in the country at the earliest.
Meanwhile, Senior Superintendent of Police Uttam Raj Subedi, spokesperson for Nepal Police, said, “We have identified some of the perpetrators and police teams are after them.” He said police would conclude its probe into the Ncell blast by tomorrow morning.
Metropolitan Police Range, Lalitpur, had arrested six persons, including Man Bahadur Tiruwa, 23, a cadre of Chand-led CPN. Two security guards of Ncell are among the suspects. Tiruwa hails from Kalikot district and is considered a ‘hardcore’ CPN cadre. Earlier, he was arrested a couple of times in connection with involvement in crimes. He has been kept in the custody of Metropolitan Police Crime Division, Teku. Nepali Army has conducted a post-blast investigation into explosive materials used in making the bombs, said SSP Subedi.
A version of this article appears in print on February 25, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.