The Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) has instructed the police administration to arrest top leaders of the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) as part of its intensified move to curb anti-election activities.
The instruction comes in line with MoHA’s conclusion that the Chand-led CPN is a major security threat to the federal parliament and provincial assembly elections to be held on Sunday and December 7.
Following the MoHA order, the law enforcement agency has already deployed special teams to identify and arrest senior leaders of the CPN, which is the only force that is objecting to the elections.
The party’s central committee members including Manik Lama and Sarala Regmi are already in police custody.
“If central leaders are arrested, it would be easier to curb the violent activities launched by the Chand-led CPN,” a Home Ministry source said.
Police, however, are yet to locate the whereabouts of the party’s top leaders like Chand, Khadga Bahadur Biswokarma and Dharmendra Bastola among others.
According to police, so far more than 400 CPN activists have been arrested from various parts of the country for their involvement in anti-election activities.
Home Ministry Spokesperson Narayan Prasad Sharma said anyone involved in anti-election and violent activities will be arrested. “Security agencies in all the districts are on a high alert. Those found guilty of carrying out anti-poll activities will face legal action,” said Sharma.
A sudden rise in incidents of blast and attack on candidates and election campaigns until a few days ago had raised serious security concerns. Some senior leaders of various parties were also targeted.
Though candidates have not been attacked in the last couple of days, sporadic incidents of blast have continued in various districts even as the Home Ministry and the Election Commission claim that security situation has improved.
Improvised explosive devices were found in different districts on Thursday as well.
Security forces on Thursday found explosive materials at Fakfok Rural Municipality-4 in Panchthar. In Baudhmai Municipality-8 of Rautahat, a team of the Armed Police Force arrested one person with a gun and ammunition. Similarly, a socket bomb in Bhimeshwor Municipality-6 of Dolakha was defused by a bomb disposal unit of the Nepal Army. In Nuwakot also a socket bomb was found on the premises of the District Election Office. It was also defused by the Army.
The EC has said despite improved security, challenges remain and that it is in continuous talks with high level officials of the Home Ministry to do the needful to curb anti-poll activities and ensure peaceful elections.