Two Maoists hurt, three suspects held

Phidim, November 28:

Two Maoist cadres were injured during a security operation at Ranke bazaar of Panchthar district yesterday. The patrol team of unified security base camp was posted for the security of Panchthar, Shilauti-based Nepal Telecom office. The Maoists were injured in a security operation after the Maoists attacked a patrol team of the security forces. The security personnel had been escorting Jagat Gauchan, assistant minister for construction and physical planning, on Mechi highway while he was returning to Ilam from Ranke, eyewitnesses said.

After the incident, the security forces have arrested three persons on suspicion of being Maoists. Two other Maoist cadres were injured in the firing between the security forces and the Maoists.

The security forces arrested Kumari Lawati, 22, of Lungphabung-2, Panchthar, Manita Gurung,

19, of Memeng-7, Panchthar and Shankar Dhungel, 20, of Namsaling-2, Ilam, eyewitnesses said. Confirming the incident, Tek Bahadur Singh, a colonel at Batuk Dal Battalion, Phidim, said the three arrested persons had been Maoists. But eyewitness said the three had been fleeing after seeing the security forces but they were not the Maoists. A district-level member of the Maoists, Prakash, today accepted that two Maoist cadres had been injured in the incident. But talking to local journalists over telephone, Prakash said the arrested three persons were not Maoist cadres.

Meanwhile, Tetar Mandal, a suspected Maoist of Siraha district’s Bisanpur VDC-5, was rearrested after release by the appellate court, Rajbiraj, today. A joint bench of judges Gauri Bahadur Karki and Rajendra Rajbhandari had ordered Mandal’s release after deliberating on a habeas corpus filed by his son, Bishnu Dev Mandal. A report from Damak said security forces today arrested two Maoists, Dilli Ghimire, alias Hikmat, and Dhundi Raj Guragai, alias Chandfrom, from Sarangpada in Jhapa. A patrol team arrested the two Maoists at 11:00 pm.