No end to bomb attacks on candidates

Biratnagar, November 29

Terror has gripped candidates, leaders and voters after bomb explosions targeting candidates and their election publicity campaigns in different districts of Province 1.

The candidates, along with their supporters are tense following the bomb explosions despite the tight security arrangement in the districts.

A vehicle belonging to Nepali Congress parliamentary candidate Narayan Bahadur Karki for Udayapur Constituency No 2 was ambushed today. As many as four persons including Karki were critically injured in the incident.

Similarly, an explosive device targeting the poll candidate of the left alliance Lal Babu Pandit of Morang Constituency No 6 went off during the election publicity campaign yesterday. The election campaign was obstructed after the explosion. Likewise, a pressure cooker bomb exploded in Krishna Prasad Sitaula’s house in Jhapa Constituency No 3 on Monday evening. Sitaula is the parliamentary candidate in Constituency No 3. The toilet and the compound wall were damaged in the explosion.

It is suspected that Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal might have been involved in anti-election activities after the bomb attacks, but no one has taken responsibility.

AIG Pashupati Upadhaya of Province 1 said some criminal groups, including the Chand-led CPN, might have been involved in the illegal act. Police are investigating, AIG Upadhya added. He said that security was beefed after the explosions targeting candidates.

He informed that police teams have been deployed for security of candidates through district police offices. The DPOs have been providing security to candidates in the districts, said police.  AIG Upadhya added that he had directed all the seven DPOs’ chiefs to provide security to candidates.

The first round of provincial and parliamentary polls was completed in 14 districts of province 1 in November 26.

AIG Upadhaya said police have been deployed for security of candidates of the second round of polls scheduled to be held in December 7 in seven districts of Province 1.

The second round of provincial and parliamentary elections will be held in Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Ilam, Dhankuta, Udayapur and Tehrathum in Province 1.

According to AIG Upadhaya, security threat had increased due to the open border and criminal activities as the election date approaches. Open border, the CPN and other criminal groups are in the police list, said AIG Upadhaya. Police said that security teams have started security checking after criminal activities increased.

SP Arun Kumar BC of District Police Office, Morang, said police started house and jungle search operation to control anti-poll activities keeping in mind the candidates’ security.

Police said it had seized five socket bombs and grenades hidden in boxes in Devigauda forest in Kerabari Rural Municipality, Morang, on Monday.