A temporary cop in Tulsipur of Dang on Wednesday became the first casualty of poll-related violence. Binod Chaudhary, 23, was injured in an improvised explosive device blast targeted at an election rally that was to be addressed by Prime Minister and Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba in Tulsipur on Tuesday.
During rising incidents of blast targeting election candidates in different parts of the country, the Election Commission (EC) on Thursday directed the law enforcement agencies to step up measures to ensure effective security.
In another incident of blast in Udaypur on Wednesday, Nepali Congress leader Narayan Bahadur Karki and six others were injured. Karki, whose condition was critical, was airlifted to Kathmandu for treatment.
Incidents of bomb attack have been reported in various districts since Tuesday, two days after the first phase of federal parliament and provincial assembly elections.
The second phase polls are scheduled for December 7.
The poll body said on Thursday its serious attention has been drawn to rising incidents of blast targeted at political party leaders.
“We are in regular touch with security agencies; we have directed them to put effective security measures in place,” EC Spokesperson Navaraj Dhakal told the Post.
The EC said it will hold a meeting with chiefs of the law enforcement agencies on Friday to discuss security-related issues.
Meanwhile, Nepal Army chief Rajendra Chhetri on Thursday visited security base camps in Siraha, Dhanusha, Rautahat and Bara to take stock of security arrangements for the second phase of elections.
There were incidents of blast and attack on candidates in the run-up to the first phase of polls, but elections in all 32 districts on Sunday were largely peaceful. However, there has been a resurgence of blasts and attacks on candidates of late.
Prime Minister Deuba, who is also looking after the Home Ministry portfolio, on Wednesday called a meeting of the Central Security Committee. PM Deuba has been facing criticism for not appointing a home minister at such a crucial time.
Home Ministry officials on Wednesday had told PM and Home Minister Deuba that they were trying to identifying the shortcomings and were working to improve the security situation.
“We have put adequate security measures in place. However, some anti-election activities have been carried out in different parts of the country. We will take legal action against those involved in poll-related violence,” said Home Ministry Spokesperson Narayan Prasad Sharma Dawadi. The Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) has been identified as a major security threat and its leaders and cadres, around 500, have been detained so far.