Maoists torch passenger bus, sanitation office

Himalayan News Service

Narayangadh, March 10:

The Maoists torched a passenger bus, set fire to a district drinking water office and tried to set a milk tanker ablaze today under the blockade programme called by the sister organisations of the Maoists.

The Maoists torched a passenger bus (Ga 1 Kha 1456) at Jyamire of Chainpur VDC, which was enroute to Pokhara from Kakadbhita. The bus was badly damaged, however, all passengers are reported to be safe.

Eyewitness said that a group of six Maoists riding on three motorbikes had come and ordered the passengers off the bus. They had then set the bus on fire.

Meanwhile, an attempt to set a milk tanker on fire this afternoon by another group of Maoists at Basantchwok was foiled by security forces.

According to eyewitness, a group of three Maoists had tried to set the wheels of the milk tanker (Ba 1 Gha 388) on fire by burning a scarf doused with kerosene oil. But the fire blew

itself out without causing any casualty. Police said the tanker was on its way to Chainpur, Chitwan, from the Milk Distribution Corporation, Kathmandu, to deliver milk. The empty tanker was on its way back when it was attacked by the Maoists. The Maoists also smashed the windscreen of the tanker.

The Maoists also set fire to the drinking water and sanitation office at Ratnanagar of Ratnanagar municipality last night. The office building is reported to have been completely destroyed in the incident. Local residents said four Maoists had set fire to the office by putting two cooking gas cylinders in the office premises. The Maoists had fled as soon as the cylinders had blasted.

The fire was put out in no time with assistance from the locals.

Due to the lack of transportation facility, people were compelled to walk or travel by rickshaws paying high fares. Some even used the rickshaws to attend marriages.

Though all shops at Narayangadh remained open, there were very few customers as there was no vehicular movement. However, most of the long route passenger buses are reported to have carried on with their services.

The Maoists also released chairman of Ward-6 of Bharatpur municipality, Phoolnath Kandel, on condition that he resign from his post within three days. He was released within two hours after he agreed to resign from his post. He had been taken to unidentified place, said Kandel.