EC concerned about pre-poll violence

Kathmandu, November 12

The Election Commission today directed the Ministry of Home Affairs and the security agencies to control incidents of violence in the run-up to the first phase of provincial and parliamentary polls slated for November 26.

The EC held a high-level security meeting at its central office today after two explosives went off on Friday and Saturday targeting left alliance candidates Janardan Sharma and Barshaman Pun in Rukum and Rolpa, respectively.

“We held intensive discussions with all security agencies and directed them to deploy more security personnel and review their work plan,” Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav told mediapersons after the meeting.

According to a press release issued by the EC, Commissioner Sudhir Kumar Shah asked security agencies to identify highly sensitive, sensitive and normal polling centres and arrange security accordingly.

CEC Yadav said the MoHA and the security agencies assured the EC that additional forces would be deployed to control incidents of poll-related violence. The EC directed senior officials of the security agencies to ensure adequate security for voters, candidates, EC staffers and national and international election observers. He said the EC was satisfied with the security arrangement and planning of the MoHA.

In response, Home Secretary Mohan Krishna Sapkota assured EC officials that the ministry was serious about poll security and had taken Rolpa and Rukum incidents seriously. He said all the four security agencies -- Nepali Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and National Investigation Department -- had been working in a coordinated manner to ensure security. He said the MoHA had been preparing to mobilise additional forces for poll duty and was reviewing security planning.

EC commissioners Ila Sharma, Narendra Dahal and Ishwori Prasad Paudel, EC Secretary Begendra Sharma, Home Secretary Mohan Krishna Sapkota, Defence Secretary Shreedhar Sapkota, Chief of General Staff of Nepali Army Purna Chandra Thapa, IGP of Nepal Police Prakash Aryal, IGP of Armed Police Force Singha Bahadur Shrestha and Chief of National Investigation Department Dilip Raj Regmi were present in the meeting presided over by EC Commissioner Sudhir Kumar Shah.