Maoists, army clash

BIRATNAGAR: Maoists and security forces exchanged fire in Rajarani area of Dhankuta on Monday morning. A patrolling team of security forces retaliated when Maoists opened fire at them, the Royal Nepalese Army Eastern Divisional Headquarters (Itahari) said. The Maoists fled after army opened fire. No loss has been reported on the side of security forces, the sources said. Security forces and the Maoists also clashed at a jungle in Hattitar and Tukre of Danda Bazaar VDC in Dhankuta on Monday, a security source said. The forces have also been conducting aerial patrol. — HNS

NC cadre abducted

ARGHAKHANCHI: Maoists on Sunday afternoon abducted one 67-year-old Nepali Congress cadre, Tej Kumar Shrestha from his residence at Bhagawati VDC- 3. His family, issuing a press release on Monday, urged the Maoists for Shrestha’s safe release. They have also urged the human right activists and journalists to initiate for Shrestha’s release. — HNS

King grants audience

POKHARA: King Gyanendra granted audience to minister for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Keshar Bahadur Bista, at Ratna Mandir of Pokhara on Monday. Minster Bista, who arrived for the audience at 9:40 am in Pokhara. Two days ago, King had granted audience to the chiefs of security forces. King had already granted audiences to various figures including the vice chairpersons of the cabinet, speaker, American under secretary for South Asian Affairs Donald Camp and ministers. — HNS

13 SLC centres

LAMJUNG: Altogether 13 examination centers have been established in the district for the SLC exam starting March 27. The centres are set up in Besishahar, Bhoteodar, Bhorletar, Sundar Bazaar and Isaneshwor only due to security reasons, District Education Office (DEO) said. “We have established exam centers in the headquarters and the places which have good transportation facilities,” DEO Prem Nath Poudel said. — HNS

Nepali girl tops varsity

KATHMANDU: A Nepali girl Dibya Sharada has recently received three gold medals — BHU Gold Medal, Champadevi Gold Medal and Annapurnadevi Gold Medal — from the Indian president APJ Abdul Kalam for her outstanding achievement in the B Com level from Banaras Hindu University (BHU). Sharada had topped the commerce faculty, top among girls and had also secured highest marks in the B Com honors in all three consecutive years, a release issued here on Monday stated. — HNS

Vehicles robbed

JALESHWOR: A group of armed persons looted two dozens of buses on Sunday night near Maraha river in Banke jungle along the East-West Highway. The group of 10-20 armed persons are reported to have looted the buses in pretext of security checks as the buses came to the check point, which they had set up near Maraha river of Mahottari district. They also extorted a sum of Rs 500 each from each vehicles, according to the eyewitnesses. The robbery lasted from 7:30 pm to 6 am in the morning, according to the District Police Office, Mahottari. Maoist involvement has been suspected in the incident. — RSS

Litterateur awarded

POKHARA: Literary figure of Pokhara Krishna Udasi has been given Kaji Roshan Literature Award by the Academy of Literature in Dawalagiri in Baglung district. The award that carries a purse of Rs 8,000 and a letter of appreciation is given in every two years. Udasi was given the award for his work Yuddha Pyramid (war pyramid). Earlier, this award was given to Baniya Kanchha, Abinash Shrestha, Bishnu Prasad Shrestha, Sadhana, Pratikchhya, Indra Kumar Shrestha and Jagat Bahadur Joshi. — RSS

Book released

MYAGDI: A book entitled Historical Mountain Kingdom written by former parliamentarian and litterateur Chandraprakash Baniya was released on Sunday. Social worker, Dr Bupendra Bahadur Khadka released the book. On the occasion, a sum of Rs 48,000 collected from expatriate Nepalis working in Japan was handed over to the chairman of the liberary. — RSS