Two CPN-Maoist cadres arrested over bus torch incident
KAVRE, SEP 16 – The police on Monday detained two cadres affiliated to the CPN-Maoist in connection with the yesterday’s incidence of vandalism and arson on a passenger bus in Kavre. National Youth Volunteer Nepal area no. 4 Vce-Cairman Raman Pariyar and Ugratara Janagal Village Committee Chairman Arjun Thapa were arrested from Dhulikhel early morning today. The bus (Ba 2 Kha 5672), en route to Melamchi from the Capital, was torch ed by the CPN-Maosit cadres at Dhulikhel yesterday for defying banda called by the party. District Police Chief SP Arun Kumar B.C. said, “We are investigating into the matter of passenger bus torch incident.”
“Necessary action will be taken against the perpetrators,” he added. He, however, declined to confirm the arrest of CPN-Maoist cadres saying that he did not have information regarding the arrest. Issuing a press release, CPN-Maoist district committee expressed dissatisfaction over the arrest of their cadres. “Police has arrested two of our cadres,” said CPN-Maoist district in-charge Deepak Devkota, “If they are not released immediately, we will shut down the district indefinitely.” “Our party is not involved in the bus torch ing incident” said Devkota, “We suspect there has been infiltration during the protest. It is a planned act to defame us.” He claimed that some ‘vigilantes’ were deployed to incite the banda protests.
CPN-Maoist cadres beaten for enforcing banda in Dolakha
DOLAKHA, SEP 15 – Five CPN-Maoist cadres, including their district secretary, were beaten up by locals when they were enforcing banda at Charikot bazaar in Dolakha district on Sunday. Cadres including party’s district secretary Prem Darnal were beaten up by the local businessmen while they tried to enforce banda in Charikot bazaar. Police has taken the five cadres under control. DSP Surendra Prasad Kafle informed that the five were detained for security reasons. They were later released after the situation turned normal. Local businessmen have opened the market area and warned against calling such strikes again.
Baidya Maoists now for poll conditionally
KATHMANDU, Sept 13: The agitating CPN-Maoist party, at an all-party meeting convened by President Ram Baran Yadav on Friday, formally committed itself to participation in the proposed Constituent Assembly (CA) election, but with conditions. The CPN-Maoist, which leads the agitating 33-party alliance, insisted on making Chairman of the Interim Election Council Khilraj Regmi resign from the post of chief justice, and deferring the Constituent Assembly (CA) poll, scheduled for November 19, by four months.
While welcoming the Baidya-led Maoist party´s official commitment to participate in the polls, other parties at the meeting tried to persuade the agitating party to participate in the poll within November itself. “A political government should be formed while the composition and leadership of such a government can be decided through discussions,” according to one of the points in the four-point proposal presented by the CPN-Maoist at the 19-party meeting convened at the president´s office at Sheetal Niwas, Friday.
“If the chief justice, who has been leading the present government, becames ready to resign from the post of chief justice, a political government can be formed even under his leadership,” it further stated. Among the major political parties, the leaders of the UCPN (Maoist) were quite open in lauding the agitating CPN-Maoist leaders for adopting a policy of participation in the election as against the party´s previous decision to boycott the poll.
“The CPN-Maoist leaders at a meeting today came up with a very flexible proposal. Our party understands that the agitating party´s latest politburo meeting changed its central committee decision to boycott the poll,” UCPN (Maoist) Vice-chairman Narayankaji Shrestha told reporters while emerging from the president´s office.
Baidya Maoists grab private land in Nawalparasi
NAWALPARASI, Sept 14: The Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist has continued its ´war-time policy´ of seizing lands of private individuals. Recently, the party announced seizure of 7 bigha [11.71 acre] of land belonging to Devi Prasad Bhattarai, of Ram Nagar-7 in Nawalparasi district. CPN-M affiliated All Nepal Peasants´ Federation -Revolutionary (ANPF-R) Nawalparasi chapter pitched the party flag on Bhattarai´s land Friday and announced the capture. ANPF-R district chairman Yam Prasad Dhakal said they captured Bhattarai´s land, which was being cultivated by local people on sharecropping basis, after he tried to sell the land.
“The move to capture the land falls in the line of our party´ central policy. Our party has policy of grabbing those fertile land which is left barren and where plotting is done for the housing purpose, which discourages agriculture production,” said Dhakal. Dhakal also informed that his party CPN-Maoist still has around 80 bigha of private land under its control. According the CPN-Maoist source, they have seized over 80 bigha of land including 3 bigha of land belonging to the Nepal Food Corporation in Gaidakot, and 12 bigha belonging to Ram Laxman Guthi in Agyauli among others.
According to those who are currently tilling the Maoist-captured land, they have to submit a third of the annual harvest to the party. Dhakal also informed his party has issued instructions to its sister wings to capture any agricultural land, which is being sold to real estate developers. Victim Bhattarai complained that the district administration is doing nothing to stop the Maoists from capturing private land on broad daylight. However, Nawalparasi district police office chief Krishna Hari Gautam said police had not received any complaint about land grab. He also said a police team has been deployed to the area to learn about the situation.
HLPC sharply divided over Baidya’s demands
KATHMANDU, Sept 15: Constituent parties of the High Level Political Committee (HLPC) are sharply divided over whether or not to accept the Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist’s demand for changes in government and deferral of the Constituent Assembly (CA) election. Leaders from the UCPN (Maoist), at the HLPC meeting on Saturday, proposed seeking resignation of Khil Raj Regmi, chairman of the interim election government, as the chief justice (CJ) if that helps bring the CPN-Maoist and other agitating political parties on board the election process.
But, Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML leaders strongly opposed the idea. UCPN (Maoist) Vice-chairman Narayankaji Shrestha proposed seeking Regmi’s resignation as chief justice at the meeting. “We must address some of the demands put forth by the CPN-Maoist,” a leader quoted Shrestha as saying at the meeting. “Seeking Regmi’s resignation as chief justice would be a practical step.” However, NC and UML leaders firmly stood against any changes in government and deferral of the polls. “Our emphasis is on concentrating our energies on making the November 19 polls successful because deferring the polls and making changes in the government would only make the elections uncertain,” CPN-UML leader Agni Kharel told Republica.
Baidya insists on ‘quit as CJ’ demand
KATHMANDU, SEP 16 – From election postponement to government Chairman Khil Raj Regmi’s resignation as chief justice , the CPN-Maoist is ‘concentrating’ on only one demand for now. The Mohan Baidya-led party on Sunday insisted that Regmi, the Chairman of the Interim Election Government, respect the ‘time-honoured principal of separation of powers in a democracy’ and step down from the judicial post he still holds.
The party said the current government could then be ‘reshuffled’ as per Article 38 (1) of the Interim Constitution, which envisages a consensus government. The party had been earlier demanding postponement of the November 19 Constituent Assembly election, saying that only poll deferral could open doors for striking agreement on other issues. After a second round of all-party meeting at the official residence of President Ram Baran Yadav at Sheetal Niwas on Sunday, leaders of major political parties termed the Baidya demand ‘positive.’ They were, however, unsure about whether to go ahead with the election as planned in November. The CPN-Maoist, however, did not commit on joining the poll process even if Regmi quits as the chief justice .
Baidya said his party was ready to demonstrate flexibility on the other demands if Regmi resigned as chief justice immediately. Though the party said the election date will not be a big issue after its demands are met, party secretary Dev Gurung made it clear that they need at least three months to prepare themselves for the election. This means the Baidya party cannot join in if the election is to be held on November 19.
The High-level Political Committee (HLPC) decided not to take any position on Baidya’s demand, but leaders in the mechanism said they will convey the matter to Regmi. The leaders added that the government chairman could then take a call on this on his own will, according to a Maoist leader present in Sunday’s meeting.
Violence, arson mark 33-party bloc’s banda
KAVRE, SEP 16 – Violence, arson and clashes marked a banda called by the CPN-Maoist-led 33-party alliance in various parts of the country on Friday. Banda supporters took to the streets from early morning in protest against the Constituent Assembly (CA) election slated for November 19. Scores of supporters were arrested for resorting to violence in course of clamping the shutdown. Banda enforcers set a bus on fire at Dhulikhel in Kavre.
They stopped the vehicle that was headed for Melamchi, sprinkled petrol on it and set it on fire even as some passengers were still scampering to make their exit out of the bus. Witnesses said the trapped commuters slid out of the window panes of the burning bus to save their lives. The protesters that largely constituted cadres of the Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist also attacked two journalists, prompting local residents to retaliate.
The protesters took out iron rods in response, but the police intervened and stopped the situation from taking an ugly turn. Deputy Superintendent of Police Bhim Kiran Bogati of the Kavre District Police Office said 17 protesters were held for disturbing law and order. They were, however, freed in the evening. District in-charge of the CPN-Maoist, Dipak Devkota, accused the police of using force to suppress their ‘peaceful’ protest. He denied his party cadres were involved in lighting up the bus and assaulting journalists. In Charikot in Dolakha district, local residents fought back with the party cadres in defiance of the banda .
Police briefly detained five CPN-Maoist cadres there, while transport services and marketplaces were open. In Bara district, sporadic clashes took place between banda supporters and security personnel. Police used force to disperse the protesters along the East West Highway. The protesters were on the highway trying to stop the motorcade of UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who was headed for Simra Airport. Clashes also ensued in some other places in the district.
In Makwanpur, banda supporters vandalised two motorcycles and a bus, while they also seized the keys from 12 motorcycle riders. In Lahan in Siraha district, banda supporters vandalised two cargo trucks. Police arrested six CPN-Maoist supporters in connection with the incident. The shutdown also affected Parsa, Dhanusha and Rasuwa districts, where marketplaces, factories, educational institutions and transport services were hit.
CA polls on scheduled date: Dahal
RAUTHAT, Sept 15: While the High Level Political Committee remains divided over whether or not to defer the poll date, UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said that the upcoming Constituent Assembly elections will be held on the scheduled date. Speaking to media persons at Gaur, Rautahat on Sunday, Dahal said, “CA polls will be held on the scheduled date even if the agitating Baidya-led Maoist decides to boycott election.”
He, however, said that they would try their best to bring the CPN-Maoist on board the election process. Asserting that the international community is in favor of the polls, Dahal said polls would not be deferred just to appease the CPN-Maoist. He also claimed that the Baidya led party does not have the strength to disrupt the polls.
EU to deploy 100 observers during CA polls
KATHMANDU, Sept 15: The European Union (EU) will mobilize 100 election observers during the upcoming Constituent Assembly (CA) scheduled for November 19. “The Election Commission (EC) and the EU today (Sunday) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to deploy 100 EU election observers during the forthcoming CA polls,” said Election Commissioner Ram Bhakta PB Thakur, who also heads the election observation committee at the EC. EC Secretary Narendra Dahal and EU Ambassador Alexander Spachis signed the MoU at the commission´s head office in the capital.
Huge haul of war-era weapons
JAJARKOT/NEPALGUNJ, SEP 16 – Police found a huge cache of insurgency-era firearms in a forest near Khalanga, the district headquarters of Jajarkot, on Sunday. A team from the District Police Office (DPO) and the Rimna Area Police Office in Jajarkot recovered forty-four .303 rifles and a two-inch mortar hidden in a pit at Raniban forest. The butts and barrels of the rifles were separated as if it could be easier for smugglers to transport.
According to DIG Rajendra Singh Bhandari of the Mid-Western Region Police Office, the seized weapons are functional and were hidden in the forest a few days ago in course being transported to some other place. Acting on a tip-off, police launched a special operation in the area. The arms were packed in sacks and hidden by digging a pit. Police suspect that the Maoist rebels had looted the rifles from Nepal Police and the mortar from Nepal Army during the insurgency.
“It seems that a group was transporting the weapons for some armed activity. We launched a search operation and got the weapons soon after we were informed,” said Bhandari. He did not rule out the possibility that the transportation of such weapons was aimed at affecting the upcoming Constituent Assembly election. “The pit appears to be freshly dug. An investigation is under way to find who are involved in the incident,” said DSP Chakra Bahadur Singh at DPO Jajarkot. This is arguably the biggest weapons haul after the end of the decade-long Maoist insurgency. UCPN (Maoist) district leader Dev Bahadur Bohara said the weapons could have been left mistakenly during the insurgency.
“The technical team of PLA combatants might have hidden the weapons for maintenance during the insurgency and left them there by mistake,” he said. CPN-Maoist district In-charge Dhakbir Rana charged that PLA commanders close to UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal could have hidden the weapons as per the party’s instruction.
India favours CA election on Nov 19, says foreign secy
KATHMANDU, SEP 16 – Visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh has said India is in favour of the Constituent Assembly election on November 19. “As per my discussions with the political leaders in Nepal, I found that every one is committed to the election. So we are for a free and fair election according to the schedule,” she said at a press conference before wrapping up her two-day Nepal visit on Sunday. India stands by the decisions of the political parties of Nepal, she said.
During her meeting with her Nepali counterpart Arjun Bahadur Thapa, she reiterated the commitment of the Government of India to provide logistical support as sought by the Government of Nepal for the election. During the meetings with Nepal’s leaders, including President Ram Baran Yadav, Chairman of Interim Election Council Khil Raj Regmi, Home Minister Madhav Ghimire, former Prime Minister and Chairman of UCPN (Maoist) Pushpa Kamal Dahal, President of Nepali Congress Sushil Koirala, Singh told them that India was ready to provide all kinds of cooperation to promote peace, prosperity and democracy in Nepal.
“I conveyed India’s commitment to work with Nepali people for a democratic, stable, peaceful and prosperous Nepal.” During a dinner party at the Indian Embassy on Saturday evening, Singh had met middle-rung leaders of the major political parties and shared the Indian establishment’s message that New Delhi wants all the political parties on board the poll process. The Indian secretary also informed that India is ready to seal its border with Nepal during the election time.
She said that it is in the best interest of India to have a stable situation in Nepal and New Delhi wants to see its neighbour prosper as soon as possible. During the courtesy calls, Singh conveyed that India is committed to extend all possible support for the CA election, said a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It said that India was ready to provide logistic support as agreed between the two governments and make necessary security arrangements on the Nepal-India border during the election.
4-week training for Nepal police on counter-IED
Institute of IED Management (IIM) of the Central Reserved Police Force, Talegaon, has started a four-week course for a team of officers from the Nepal Police on counter-IED (improvised explosive devices) tactics. This is the second week of the training programme.