KATHMANDU, Nov 26: Terror activities targeted at candidates contesting the federal and provincial elections continued even at the very last minute despite the government's assurance that security has been beefed up.
Just a day before the first phase of the elections on Sunday, attacks with intention to create chaos or disrupt the elections have been reported in at least four districts across the country.
In Nawalparasi district on Saturday, a bomb was hurled at a vehicle carrying two candidates of Nepali Congress (NC). The incident took place in the morning in Panch Pokhari of Hupsekot targeting NC's provincial candidate of Nawalpur-2 Bishnu Lamichhane and parliamentary candidate Bishnu Kumar.
The assailants fled after police personnel fired gunshots in response. They are yet to be identified and are at large, informed Superintendent of Police, Deependra BC of the District Police Office (DPO), Nawalparasi. No one got hurt in the incident.
Likewise in Jhapa district, there has been a surge in criminal activities targeting election candidates. In the wee hours of Saturday, explosives went off nearby the home of CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli, who is contesting the federal elections from the district. The bomb was clearly targeted at Oli's house.
UML Chair's son Anil was asleep when he heard the explosion at around 4 am. Another bomb was found following the incident. A bomb disposal squad of Nepal Police safely defused the explosive.
“We are committed to providing security to the houses of important political figures. We are getting close to identifying the culprits,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Deepak Giri of the Area Police Office, Damak.
Likewise, an explosive went off targeting a vehicle of NC's Jhapa District President Udyab Thapa, who is also contesting the federal elections from Jhapa constituency-2. The vehicle was kept in a parking lot at the time of the incident. The explosive damaged the vehicle heavily.
Condemning the incident, the ruling NC has demanded an unbiased investigation.
On the same day, an improvised explosive device went off in the main marketplace of Manahari Bazaar of Manahari Rural Municipality-7, Makwanpur, at around 4 pm. According to Makwanpur DPO, the bomb was hid inside hays before being detonated. No one was hurt in the incident, luckily.
Terror has gripped the district's trade hub Manahari Bazar following the explosion. Police said they have launched manhunt to catch those behind the explosion.