Criminals hold Mahendranagar to ransom

Mahendranagar, October 31:

Anxious traders seek security.

Haunted by criminals, entrepreneurs based in Mahendranagar, the district headquarters of Kanchanpur, have urged the government in general and the Home Ministry in particular to make arrangements for the security of their lives and properties.

The request came after looters stole property worth one million rupees and beat eight businessmen black and blue. During the same period, at least 12 businessmen received threats.

The businessmen have threatened to embark on an agitation if the government does not arrest the guilty in two days.

A team of businessmen led by Madhav Prasad Bhatta, an executive member of the Federation of Nepalese Chamber of and Industries, had a meeting with the chief district officer and superintendent of police today.

The team drew the attention of the officials to the prevailing insecurity. “We will embark on an agitation if the looters are not arrested within two days,” according to Bhatta.

Yesterday, a gang beat up Gajendra Pandey at the Campus Road. The looters robbed him of Rs 35,000 and gold chain. He sustained 23 stitches on the head.

Mahesh Bhatta of the Monsoon Hotel, Krishna Prasad Kharel, met the same fate.

A group of youths, who were playing cards at the campus road, were also fell prey: Looters took away Rs 25,000 and mobile phone sets from them.

The police suspect that one criminal gang is behind all these incidents. According to the police, the same band of looters might have set the Mahendranagar-based Ashish Fancy Stores on fire on Tuesday.

The blaze destroyed properties worth two million rupees. On Saturday evening, Prem Bhat, an acting executive officer of the Kanchanpur Chamber of Commerce and Industries, was attacked and looted while he was heading from Hotel Opera to Goharaiya.

One-and-a-half-weeks ago, a group had attacked and robbed staffers of the New Khadka hotel at Mahendranagar bazaar.

According to the victims, the district administration’s indifference to the rising crime chart has boosted the morale of the criminals.

According to a police source, the gang had even threatened Narapati Bhatta, sub-inspector at the District Police Office.

Superintendent of Police Balaram Sharma said a large number of security personnel had been mobilised from today to maintain law and order.

The local administration has pledged to mobilise the Armed Police Force and civilian police to rein in the criminals.