Father in poll fray, son in Rolpa jail

CPN-MC leader Jhakku Subedi contesting from Kathmandu-6, while his son is in jail for anti-poll activities

Liwang (Rolpa), November 16

CPN-Maoist Centre leader Jhakku Subedi is contesting parliamentary elections from Kathmandu Constituency No 6 on his party’s ticket, but his son, Santosh Subedi, a member of Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal, is in police custody in Rolpa.

Jhakku, who won the first Constituent Assembly election from a Kathmandu constituency in 2008, was also the chair of District Development Committee, Rolpa, in 1996 when his party launched an armed insurgency.

Santosh was among the five CPN leaders who were arrested by the police in Rolpa, said Chief District Officer Dijan Bhattarai. Santosh is a former Maoist combatant.

He was arrested on November 9, along with Dal Bahadur Khatri, Rolpa in-charge of the CPN, before explosives targeting CPN-MC parliamentary candidates Janardan Sharma and Barshaman Pun went off on November 10 and 11 in Rukum and Rolpa, respectively.

Two other CPN cadres were arrested with pistols, while another was held without any arms or ammunition. “We’ll not spare anybody who indulges in anti-poll activities,” CDO Bhattarai told THT at his residence in Liwang.

CPN Central Committee member and Rapti Bureau Chief Keshab Bahadur Batha Magar said the police had arrested 25 cadres of his party in Rapti zone.

“We cannot stop the elections but we’ll tell the public that elections are anti-people and anti-nation,” he told to THT over phone.

Santosh was arrested when he was going to attend a programme organised at Ghodagaun where Minister of State for Irrigation Amar Singh Pun, who is contesting from Rolpa-1 on Nepali Congress’ ticket, was the chief guest.

Pun has demanded that CPN cadres be released or else they could increase threats to the candidates and voters, prompting CPN-MC Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal to accuse him of colluding with the CPN.

In the local election, the NC had supported CPN candidates.

CDO Bhattarai said while there was no security challenge from the rival political parties in the district, anti-poll elements did pose security threat.

According to Inspector Sudarshan Panthi, police were providing security to political parties when they organise poll campaign.

He added that the police had suggested rival parties to organise their programmes in different parts of the constituency in order to avoid confrontation.

“Anti-poll elements will be dealt with as per the law,” Bhattarai said.