Maoists threatened to kill us: UML leader

Kathmandu, March 26:

Central committee member of the CPN-UML and party’s candidate for CA polls

from constituency No 3 of Dhading Rajendra Pandey said today the Maoists attacked UML cadres, prevented them from holding a public meeting at Jeevanpur VDC and threatened to kill them yesterday.

During a press conference at party headquarters today, Pandey who was elected thrice to the House of Representatives from the district said his party had already informed the district administration and the police about the programme.

He said a group of Maoists ferried from Kathmandu in five buses attacked them for over 20 minutes as soon as the meeting began. The meeting was subsequently cancelled. The Maoists led by their district committee members Dipak Lamichhane, Binod Luitel, Ganesh Regmi and Tika Kandel attacked the people attending the UML meeting, according to a release issued by Pandey.

“We had to cancel the meeting after they attacked us with stones and lathis. We maintained maximum restraint though they kept attacking us and destroyed three motorbikes belonging to our cadres,” Pandey said.

He also informed the media that the Maoists had warned them against visiting Jeevanpur VDC and even threatened to kill him and former Jeevanpur VDC chairman Purna Prasad Pandey if they dared visit the VDC, the release said, adding that the Maoists cordoned off UML ralliests for over two-and-a-half hours. The Maoists cadres left the area after a reinforcement of the APF reached the site from Kathmandu to rescue the UML candidate and others.

Pandey said dozens of people from both the sides would have been killed had the APF not maintained restraint while rescuing them. The Maoists had also attacked the UML cadres in Baireni, Pida, Bhumesthan and Gajuri over the last weekend, said the statement.

“If such intimidations and threats continue, I do not think the polls will be held in a free and fair manner,” Pandey said, adding that the Maoist attack came just a day after the SPA leaders, including Prachanda, vowed to conduct the polls peacefully.

UML standing committee member and the party’s chief of election monitoring bureau Amrit Bohara said either the Maoist cadres were not under the control of its leadership or the Maoist leadership itself has been using double strategy.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by National Election Observation Committee (NEOC), which visited the site on Tuesday, said the Maoists had started gathering their cadres in the VDC one day before the UML’s planned rally.