CPN Maoist bandh cripples life across country


Cadres and leaders of the CPN Maoist, led by Netra Bikram Chand, on Friday forced schools, shops and businesses to shut across the country, as they enforced a daylong bandh to protest against plans to bring a new constitution, which they call is ‘anti-people’.

Police arrested bandh enforcers in several parts of the country for vandalism and arson. At least four vehicles were set on fire by bandh enforcers in Banke. DSP Sushil Singh Rathaur of District Police Office Banke said protesters set a vehicle belonging to Simant College of Rupaidiha, India, on fire in front of Sneha Hotel in Nepalgunj. Similarly, bandh enforcers set two parked vehicles on fire at Nepalgunj Bus Park. They also torched a truck in Kusum, Banke.

As many as five vehicles were vandalised at different places in Chitwan. Two drivers were injured in the incident. Chitwan CDO Binod Prakash Singh said that bandh enforcers had set vehicles on fire at Shanti Chowk, Tandi; Aanptari Bharatpur, Pokhara Bus Park; and Oralo, Bharatpur. Demonstrators also vandalised a Maruti ban at Dolalghat in Kavre. Dolalghat police arrested CPN Maoist Sindhupalchowk district coordinator Kamal Majhi and cadres Kiran Ghimire and Nirdesh Timilsena in Dolalghat. Bandh enforcers staged a demonstration at Chardobato in Banepa and halted transportation services and shut marketplaces. Marketplaces and shops remained shut in Panchkhal, Bhakunde, Panauti and Dolalghat.

Maoist cadres also vandalised a container truck at Saraswoti Khola along the East-West Highway in Makawanpur. Makawanpur police have arrested as many as 10 Maoist cadres including party’s Makawanpur in-charge Indra Bahadur Pariyar and secretariat member Gokul Dahal. Bandh enforcers doused a truck en route to Dhading Gajuri from Kathmandu with petrol and set it on fire at Khahare Khola, Bhumestahn VDC in Dhading. Police have arrested three bandh enforcers in Rukum. The arrested are district level Maoist leaders Tilakram Pun, Shakti Pun and Kanchan RC. They were taken under control from Musikot Khalanga.

Police also arrested two bandh enforcers for their involvement in vandalising a motorcycle in Mahendrapul, Pokhara. Life was also thrown out of gear in Sindhuli, Tanahun, Bhojpur, Dang, Pyuthan, Salyan, Rolpa, Panchtahr, Taplejung and Jhapa among other districts. Marketplaces, factories, industries, educational institutions remained shut in almost all urban areas. Government offices, however, were open, but presence of service seekers was negligible. Buses of long and short routes stayed off the roads along the BP, Araniko, East-West highways. Vehicles of diplomatic missions, ambulances, media and essential services, however, plied without obstruction. In Jhapa, police arrested as many as nine bandh enforcers. According to Area Police Office Birtamode, nine bandh enforces, including party central member Rajendra Karki, were held. At least four CPN Maoist cadres were held during their torch rally yesterday evening whereas around half a dozen cadres had sustained injuries during a clash with police.

Vandalism and arson

• Banke: At least four vehicles were set on fire in Nepalgunj. Demonstrators torched a truck in Kusum

• Chitwan: Five vehicles were vandalised, set on fire

• Kavre: A Maruti ban vandalised in Dolalghat

• Makawanapur: A container truck vandalised at Saraswoti Khola along the East-West Highway

• Kaski: A motorcycle was vandalised