‘Operation Seal’ for poll security in Midwestern Region
NEPALGUNJ, Oct 27: The Midwestern Regional Police has introduced a special security plan named “operation seal” to make sure that the CA elections are conducted in free and fair atmosphere. With the increase in attacks on election offices and election campaigns in several parts of the country by anti-election parties led by the CPN-Maoist, police are faced with the challenge to create a safe atmosphere for the public to visit the polling station for casting their ballots.
Revealing the security plan here Sunday, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Rajendra Singh Bhandari said that the operation aims to make the anti-election force ineffective by discouraging their activities in the region. The government has already introduced a four-tier mechanism for election security. As many as 10,000 police and 7,000 temporary police would be deployed in every nook and corner of the region, DIG Bhandari claimed.
“We have set aside 20 percent of police manpower for office work and the rest 80 percent will be deployed for election security,” he added. Despite security arrangements by police, a number of anti-election activities have been witnessed in the region recently. Political parties opposing the elections have vandalized the vehicles used in campaigning by election candidates while suspicious items including bags, which appear like explosives, have been placed near political party offices. Such items have been placed to cause panic among the public.
The security agencies are aware of the fact that CPN-Maoist leader Netra Bikram Chand has taken the charge to disrupt political parties´ election campaigns and voting in the region. Of the total 33 constituencies in the Mid-Western Development Region, the CPN-Maoist (then together with UCPN-Maoist) had won 27 seats. Among them, 13 winners of the last CA poll are currently in the Biadya-led CPN-Maoist. “As the scenario is completely different, the CPN-Maoist is trying hard to wield control of the region,” said a highly place police officer in the region. The police have intensified their operation with separate strategies for Tarai, Nepal-India border, cities, hills, and rural areas. They will be identifying the groups that intentionally obstruct electoral work and investigate their criminal background. While the Nepal Army has already been deployed at sensitive places such as key government installations and development infrastructures and airport, police will also be securing those areas, according to DIG Bhandari. The Armed Police Force along with the NA has taken charge in all 15 districts of the region.
Election education materials looted in Mugu
MUGU, Oct 28: CPN-Maoist cadres have looted election education materials in Mugu on Saturday night. A group of CPN-Maoist cadre wearing masks looted the materials from the houses of four voters education volunteers and an election education activist at Rowa VDC in the district, said an election education volunteer. The VDC lies some two hours walking distance from the district headquarters, Gamgadhi. The election education materials looted include pamphlets, posters and sample ballot papers. This is not something new for us as it has been carried out as per our poll-opposing schedule, said one of the Maoist cadres.
Nepal: Nation pushed to another violent conflict, claim CS experts
Nepal’s Civil Society leaders believe that the idea behind totally marginalizing Nepal Communist Party-Maoist is to primarily defer the election and even if election is held their intention is not to draft the constitution. Constitutional expert Dr. Bhimarjun Acharya claimed this while addressing a press interaction in Kathmandu October 27, 2013, that election held under present murky political environment will be fatal for the country. “The NCP-Maoist has been intentionally left out from the electoral process. To marginalize one of the largest political forces and the idea behind mobilizing the Army to hold the election will be terminal for the country,” said advocate Acharya.
Political Analyst Muma Ram Khanal expressing his views at the program also opined that the so-called four largest parties in a pre-planned manner have kept the NCP-Maoist out of the election process. He also claimed that the constituent assembly formed after the election in all likelihood will fail to draft the new Charter. “The Peace Process has not yet come to its desired conclusion. The NCP-Maoist is one of the stakeholders of the peace process. The election result will be dreadful for the country,” said Khanal serving warning he said, “The country can no longer withstand another round of violent conflict.” Professor Surendra K.C. however, said that the present political instability is the result of the grand design of the western countries to encircle China. “The country is being pushed again towards another violent conflict as a part of the grand design of the western countries to encircle China. Our leaders have been heavily influenced by the western scheme,” said K.C.
Bandh in Eastern Nepal puts Indo-Nepal and Nepal Bangladesh cross border trade into trouble
SILIGURI: Gradually increasing political warmth in Nepal over approaching Constituent Assembly (CA) election has started making its effects visible in the Indian side too across open international border. The bandh in eastern Nepal districts on Monday has left major effect on cross border Indo-Nepal trade. With its bandh on Monday to oppose the poll, Federal Limbuwan State Council (FLSC) has frozen nine eastern Nepal districts, many of them adjoining to Indo-Nepal border. As viewed by many politicians there, the bandh has been planned as counter strategy to the arrival of UCPN (Maoist) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal( Prachanda) in the region for door-to-door election campaign.
“It is a difficult situation for all of us dependent on cross border business,” said green vegetable vendor Kamal Debnath from Naxalbari, a small town at indo-Nepal border in Darjeeling district. If this is one side of the coin, on the other side- already a serpentine queue of trucks, loaded with Indo-Nepal trade goods got stuck at border entry points like Kakarvita near Naxalbari. Leaving boundary of India, the effect of bandh is now visible in Bangladesh too. Following recent approval of GoI, Bangladesh and Nepal carries on inter-country surface trade through Indian land via Indo-Nepal trade gate at Kakarvita and Indo Bangladesh trade gate at Fulbari.
“We had to keep our outgoing vehicles stranded in Bangladesh side of Fulbari while many other trucks get stuck at Kakarvita in India. It is a tough situation to handle,” said B. Rahman, an exporter from Bangladesh. More alarmingly, many of these stranded vehicles are carrying perishable items- he informed. As per Indo-Nepal friendship treaty, Indian shares open border with Nepal through which, citizens of both countries need not to have passport or visa to cross the border. Naturally, that gives a scope of huge volume local trade across the border in practically all sectors including commodities, food materials, green vegetable or health care. “Any trouble in Nepal leaves strong impact on our business,” said Mr. N Singla, Chairman of a major healthcare unit in Siliguri. The poll-opposing outfit FLSC is demanding autonomous Limbuwan state in eastern Nepal and immediate release of over a dozen of their activists who were arrested during their movement opposing the CA election.
Jeep with NC flag torched in Narahari Acharya’s constituency
KATHMANDU: An unidentified gang torched a jeep apparently used in the election campaign of Nepali Congress (NC) candidate Narahari Acharya in Kathmandu Constituency-5, in Dhapasi in the Capital on Monday morning. Police said the vehicle was likely to be used by Acharya for his election campaign as the NC party flag was planted on the roof of the Kia jeep (Ba 6 Cha 419). Acharya is vying from the constituency in the Constituent Assembly. Talking to THT Online, DSP Prabhu Raj Dhakal informed that the jeep has suffered minor damage in the arson. It has been learnt that the arsonists were motorcycle-borne. The jeep was set ablaze near the Krishna Mandir in Dhapasi. Acharya was at the door-to-door campaign in the area when the arson took place. CPN-Maoist, which has boycotted the Constituent Assembly election and is involved in anti-poll activities, is suspected to be behind the incident.
Nepal: Baidya leaders go underground, report
The Rajdhani Daily dated October 28, 2013, reveals that except for party secretary Dev Gurung and spokeswoman Ms. Pampha Bhusal all other influential leaders of Nepal Communist Party-Maoist including Chairman Mohan Baidya Kiran have gone partial-underground. Is it the rehearsal of People’s War-II? “Now on we will not be seen in public as we used to be in the past,” Rajdhani quotes an unnamed NCP-Maoist leader as saying. “We will be conducting our anti-election programs without our active presence”, said the duo.
“Our target will be the Unified Maoists Party,” he said and added, “Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Baburam will be our prime targets.” Old friends now turned enemies. The report also claims that at a recently concluded politburo meet held at a secret location the party had asked their top leaders to go underground. To add, party general secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal’ refrained from taking part at a program organized by one of the party wings in Kathmandu on Saturday as per the party politburo meet. On the other hand, the government had also ordered the security forces to nab General Secretary Badal if he appeared at the program, reports Rajdhani daily. The situation is getting chaotic apparently. As per the report, the politburo meet had also decided to declare revolt prior to the election and if there is the need to get arrested, Gurung and Bhusal will submit themselves voluntarily to the government forces.
CPN-M leaders won’t be easily accessible
KATHMANDU: After the government started preventing them from organising peaceful anti-poll campaigns and keeping their top leaders under surveillance, the senior CPN-Maoist leaders have changed their modus operandi. Kathmandu District Administration Office had prevented CPN-M from holding functions at Basundhara yesterday and at Sukumbasi Basti today declaring those areas restricted zones. There were also reports that the Home Ministry had directed the security bodies to keep top leaders of the agitating parties on close watch. Of late CPN-M cadres have been engaged in violence against candidates and have been seizing and destroying election materials.
Today CPN-M cadres declared ‘No-polls zone’ in different parts of Rolpa. CPN-M sources said security bodies are tapping their phone conversations, therefore most of them have already stopped receiving calls. Multiple sources claimed that party secretary Dev Prasad Gurung and spokesperson Pampha Bhushal are shifting their residences and changing their cell numbers. Gurung is leading the 33-party alliance that has been agitating against the November 19 polls.
CPN-M chief Mohan Baidhya said his party was not waging any kind of armed movement and would continue peaceful movements to foil the election. General Secretary of Revolutionary Communist Party Mani Thapa said the government was preparing action against agitating parties, but the leaders of his party would face whatever action was taken against them as theirs was a peaceful movement. “Government and the four major parties have already been defeated politically as they had deployed 62,000 soldiers to quell a peaceful movement,” CPN-M leader Maheshwor Dahal said, adding that minor clashes were inevitable at a time when the pro-election parties themselves were fighting with each other.
• Lal Bahadur Tamu, ANNISU-R central member arrested in Pokhara
• CPN-M Taplejung in-charge and a few others arrested
• Top leaders under surveillance
• Action against anti-polls campaigners being prepared
• Seizing and destroying election materials
• UCPN-M candidate thrashed in Taplejung
• Different parts of Rolpa declared ‘no-polls zone’
• Attack on UCPN-M election programme at Panchthar