Dhangadi, August 1
As many as 12 Ncell telecommunication towers in six districts of Sudurpaschim Province were torched last night, allegedly by the cadres of Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal.
According to police, four, three and two towers were torched in Kailali, Bajhang and Achham respectively, while one tower each was torched in Doti, Baitadi and Dadeldhura.
In Kailali, Ncell towers located in Jali of Dhangadi sub-metropolis-6, Balmi of Godawari Municipality-9, Badariya of Janaki Rural Municipality-2 and Manuwa of Janaki Rural Municipality-9, were torched.
“While the towers in Dhangadi and Godawari have received minor damage, telecommunications service from the towers in Janaki Rural Municipality have been disrupted following the incident,” said Kailali District Police Office Spokesperson DSP Dakshya Basnet.
In Dadeldhura, after the Ncell tower based in Kafalidanda in Alital Rural Municipality-2 was set on fire, telecommunications service through the tower has been disrupted. According to Dadeldhura District Police Office Inspector Laxman Khadka, the incident took place at about 11:00pm last night. “Batteries and cables have been completely burnt,” said Khadka, adding that telephone and internet service of the company had been disrupted in the district headquarters from last night.
The Ncell tower based in Ghanteshwor in Jorayal Rural Municipality-1, Doti, has been burnt. According to Doti District Police Office DSP Lal Bahadur Dhami, everything from batteries to power cables and SEDP channel have been burnt in the arson. Telecommunication service provided by the company has been disrupted after the incident.
In Achham, two Ncell towers were torched. The towers based in Thanikot of Pancha Dewal Binayak Municipality-3 and in Titauda of Turmakhand Rural Municipality-7, were torched. According to police, solar panels, monitor box, cables and batteries were gutted.
Following the incident, Ncell mobile service has been disrupted in Pancha Dewal Binayak and Kamal Bazaar municipalities and Turmakhand and Dhakari rural municipalities.
In Baitadi, Ncell telephone service has been disrupted in Purachaundi Municipality after unidentified persons vandalised and set fire to the tower based in Uchapatthar Kundidhar in Purachaundi Municipality-1. The battery at the tower was vandalised and the solar panel installed here also received damage.
In Bajhang, three Ncell towers based in Masta, Thalara and Witthadchir rural municipalies were torched. Details of damage are yet to be come. Police said investigation was on.
Meanwhile, unidentified groups also torched the Ncell towers in Bhojpur, Ramechhap and Jhapa districts.
While in Jhapa, the Ncell tower based in Kalikasthan in Arjundhara Municipality-10 was torched last night, the Okhre-based Ncell tower in Ram Prasad Rai Rural Municipality-1, Bhojpur, was also torched. Besides the arson, five solar panels and a machine were vandalised. Police had learnt about the arson only after locals reported the incident to police in the morning.
In Ramechhap, the Ncell tower based in Doramba in Doramba Rural Municipality-2 was torched.
According to Ramechhap District Police Office Spokesperson Shekh Adalat, a group of five to seven unidentified persons torched the tower and then fled this afternoon.
According to Ramechhap Chief District Officer Lila Kumari KC Pande, security at other Ncell towers has been beefed up following the incident. There are a total of 11 Ncell towers in the district.
Arson at the Ncell tower also happened in Pokhara, where according to Kaski District Police Office Spokesperson DSP Raj Kumar KC, the Ncell tower based in Majhthana in Pokhara-28 received minor damage from last night’s arson.
A version of this article appears in print on August 02, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.