Maoist bandh hits four districts

Talks on Dolakha stalemate fail

Charikot, August 1:

A bandh called by the Maoists crippled life in Dolakha, Kavre, Ramechhap and Sindhupalchowk districts today.

The Maoists have called an indefinite strike in Dolakha, while the other three districts were shut today to demand the release of their party cadres who were arrested by the police on charges of assaulting Dolakha CDO Uddhav Bahadur Thapa. Although the bazaar in Dolakha district headquarters, Charikot, and a few others remained open, educational institutions remained shut and vehicles stayed off the roads.

Maoist cadres staged a sit-in at the district administration office yesterday after a case was filed against their district leader Bishal Khadka who smeared former DDC chairman Sundar Prakash Khadka’s face with soot. Thirty-three Maoist cadres were held for vandalising the district administration office and assualting CDO Thapa. Of them, five were released and the local administration filed attempt to murder cases against 11 of them.

According to our Kavre correspondent, transportation halted and main markets, industries

and schools remained closed due to the bandh. ANNISU-R and YCL cadres forced the schools to down shutters. Maoist cadres felled trees at Sangabhanjyang and Kavrebhanjyang to block

the Arniko and BP highways.

The Maoists burnt tyres at Panchkhal and disrupted traffic on Arniko Highway. The bandh also hit Sindhupalchowk and Ramechhap.

No understanding was reached at an all-party meeting held earlier today. Maoist MP Devi Khadka and district secretary Kripashwor said the bandh would be withdrawn and the Maoists would apologise once the parties give their stand in writing. Talks failed after participants at the meeting said that although they wanted to solve the problem through political means, the other parties could not give it in writing. Regional administrator Shanker Prasad Gautam, civil police DIG Kiran Gautam and APF DIG Shyam Krishna Karmacharya, who had arrived here for yesterday, left today.

Meanwhile, the Maoists called off the bandh in Dolakha today. Dolakha district secretary of the CPN (Maoist) Kripashwor said that a meeting of the district committee held here this evening decided to call off the bandh.