EDITORIAL: A deplorable act

While violence has no place in any society, all concerned must exercise restraint to bring the situation under control in Sarlahi

A Nepali Congress cadre, identified as Ram Bilash Mahato, 60, was shot dead and seven others were injured after cadres of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and Nepali Congress clashed with each other in Ramnagar Rural Municipality in Sarlahi district on Monday morning. NCP cadres had reportedly attacked Ward-4 chairman Ram Naresh Mahato on Sunday evening for unilaterally allocating budget for development works. Police said Mahato was shot dead at 8:30am on Tuesday. Eyewitnesses said shots were fired from the house of a local, Shree Narayan Yadav, after both the sides resorted to clash. Ward chairman Ram Naresh Mahato whose left leg has been fractured is undergoing medical treatment at Malangawa District Hospital while seven others who received bullet shrapnel and were also attacked with batons and stones were admitted at a local health facility for treatment, according to police, which, local said, reached the scene only after the incident took place. Deceased Mahato, who got three shots on the abdomen and the mouth, is uncle of the Ward chairman. Mahato died on the spot when he was about to shut down his shop, according to his wife Mantutiya Devi. Eyewitnesses said the houses of the NC cadres were also vandalised.

Meanwhile, the main opposition NC, issuing a statement in Kathmandu, has condemned Mahato’s killing. The NC has demanded martyrdom for the deceased; free medical treatment to the wounded and stern legal action against the perpetrator(s) of the crime. The NC said NCP cadres thrashed Mahato all of a sudden and shot him in the face and stomach. The main opposition has also alleged that the NCP cadres also vandalised an ambulance which had reached the scene to rescue the people injured in the clash. The ruling party cadres also intimidated police which, the statement said, did little to bring the situation under control.

This is the first incident of violent clash between the two rival parties in which a 60-year-old man lost his life since the elections of three tiers of government were held last year. The violent clash between the two sides could have been averted had the local administration deployed adequate number of security personnel to the area in view of Monday’s thrashing of the Ward chairman. While the local administration should leave no stones unturned to book the perpetrator(s) who opened fires killing an innocent person and wounding seven others, the political parties also should exercise maximum restraints to bring the situation under control. There should not be any more violence in the area over the incident. The government must provide compensation to the bereaved family members. In such a situation all political parties, especially the ruling ones, must play a peacekeeper’s role. They must not let violence flare up. Maintaining peace and security in society should be the topmost priority of all political parties, civil society and the local administration. No development works can move forward if party cadres resort to violence over minor issues. People might have differing views on development issues and priorities of budget. But such disputes should be resolved through dialogue among the stakeholders, not through violent acts. Violence is deplorable.

Stroke prevention

More and more people are said to be suffering from strokes in the country in recent years, thanks to sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy food habits. Stroke is a medical condition in which poor blood flow to the brain results in cell death. It occurs when the blood supply in the brain is interrupted or reduced. A stroke may be caused by a blocked artery (ischemic stroke) or the leaking or bursting of a blood vessel (haemorrhagic stroke).

With age, people become more susceptible to having a stroke. But these days a lot of stroke cases are being seen among young population as well. Experts blame lack of exercise and unhealthy food habits for the rise in stroke cases. Short- and long-term exposure to air pollution also can increase the risk of stroke. There is a need of awareness among the population about the risk factors. Those with family history must visit medical experts on a regular basis. People also must focus on prevention methods. Stroke prevention should start today. Exercise is the key while choosing healthy diet can drastically

reduce the risk.