SARLAHI, June 21: Police on Thursday shot dead Kumar Poudel, the Sarlahi district in-charge of the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal (CPN).
According to police, Poudel, 47, died when the police opened fire at the cadres of the Chand-led outfit. The incident occurred at around 2 pm near the Lakhandehi River in Lalbandi Municipality. Acting on a tip-off, the police had pursued the group of CPN cadres including Poudel.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Pratit Singh Rathor, the spokesperson for the District Police Office (DPO), Sarlahi, claimed that Chand-led cadres who were riding motorcycles first opened fire at the police team and Paudel was killed in retaliation.
It has been learnt that four of Chand's cadres were fleeing from the police on two motorcycles. Police claim that one more cadre sustained injuries in his feet but managed to escape with two others. Police claimed that they confiscated a three-feet cord, a five-feet long fuse wire, a revolver and 4 bullets from the incident site and also found a pistol and two bullets from the bag Poudel was carrying.
Rathaur claimed Poudel was involved in various incidents of arson and bomb blasts in the district. Poudel's body has been brought to the Malangawa-based district hospital for an autopsy.
Poudel, a local resident of Dharahara, Bagmati Municipality-2, had initially joined politics as the district chief of the Chure Bhawar Ekata Party after the party was established to counter the Madhesi parties. Later, he joined the Maoist party and was lately working as the district in-charge of the outlawed CPN.
In an email sent to journalists, the CPN has termed the killing as a case of extrajudicial murder. The party has demanded a fair probe into the case and justice to Poudel.
Poudel is the second leader of the Chand-led party killed in police action. Earlier in May, Tirtharaj Ghimire of Bhojpur had died while receiving treatment at a hospital after he was injured in police firing.
After Ghimire's killing, the outlawed group imposed a national strike. Four cadres of the Chand-led party were killed in Kathmandu last month when the bombs they were planning to detonate exploded prematurely.