Life affected in Maoist heartland due to bandh

Rukum, March 2:

Normal life in Rukum was affected today due to a bandh called by several political parties to protest yesterday’s attack on leaders and activists of the political parties by the cadres of Young Communist League Nepal affiliated with the Unified CPN-Maoist.

YCL cadres had attacked a demonstration of political parties in district headquarters Musikot. The parties were protesting the inclusion of only Maoist CA members in a CA team that reached the district to collect public opinions on future constitution.

More than 25 leaders and cadres of different political parties, including the ruling CPN-UML and main opposition Nepali Congress, were injured in the attack. The condition of Ram Prasad Puri, central member of Rastriya Janamorcha, is reportedly critical.

Meanwhile, addressing a press meet in Khalanga, district in-charge of the Unified CPN-Maoist Gopal Sharma said they were trying to resolve the problem. “Our party wasn’t involved in yesterday’s incident,” he claimed.

“Our cadres were attacked in a pre-planned manner. The NC cadres are to be blamed for the incident,” the UCPN-M said in a press statement. It also said two Maoist activists were seriously injured in the incident.

NC district secretary Krishna Rokaya said they would put forth some pre-conditions to resolve the row. “If our pre-conditions are not addressed, we will continue with the protests against the Maoists,” he added. Chief District Officer Devraj Dhakal said the administration would take action against the guilty involved in the attack. After the controversy, the Opinion Collection Team No 28 has put off the process of opinion collection in the district until the row finds a way out.

Earlier, the team had said it would unilaterally start collecting the opinions if the other parties didn’t come to an agreement. The team has Maoist CA member Lokendra Bista as the leader.