Maoists spirit away Arghakhanchi CDO, LDO to Pyuthan

Jagadish Bhattarai

Palpa, January 17:

Maoists have taken the abducted acting CDO of the Arghakhanchi Birendra Nath Sharma and local development officer Sudarshan Prasad Dhakal to a place somewhere close to Pyuthan. Sources said they cut across the district’s western areas, prior to arriving at the place today.

A group of seven Maoists kidnappped Sharma and Dhakal from the district headquarters, Sandhikhark, yesterday. They crammed into a jeep (Lu 1 Ja 1258) and driven through the Argha, Bangi, Hanspur VDC before reaching Gokhunga on the district’s border, next morning.

Hem Bahadur Karki, head of the Arghakhanchi branch office of the National Investigation Department, was also with Sharma, while Maoists swooped in a hotel they were dining in. Learning that Maoists had come, Karki slipped out somehow through the hotel’s back door, said a security source. Karki is safe within the security cordon.

Driver and owner of the jeep, Durga Prasad Bhusal, said he drove the Maoists and their hostages safely to the border area. The Maoists treated him to tea and snacks and sent him back. He added that the Maoists did not mistreat either abductee anwyhere.

They, however, threatened him not to tell anybody about the abduction until three hours later.