KATHMADU, Dec 1: With the second phase of parliamentary and provincial assembly elections less than a week away, the incidents of violence aimed at derailing the polls have gone up sharply in different parts of the country including the capital city.
An unidentified group detonated improvised explosive devices (IEDs) near the UN Park in Kupondole, Lalitpur, on Friday evening. Although no casualty was reported in the incident, many perceived this as a consequence of fragile poll security arrangements.
Also, locals in Budhanilakantha area said they heard a loud noise, which sounded like an explosion, on Friday evening. Metropolitan Police Sector Office, Budhanilakantha, said it had dispatched a police team for investigation.
Unidentified groups had similarly detonated IEDs in Lagankhel, Lalitpur and Balkot, Bhaktapur on Tuesday evening.
The bomb attacks targeted at political candidates and leaders ahead of the elections have been a major concern these days. While scores of people including a poll candidate have been injured already due to stray bombs targeted at poll campaigns, a temporary police deputed in Dang district in western Nepal was killed as a result of injuries inflicted on him due to a bomb explosion.
On Thursday, the unidentified group had detonated IEDs at a poll rally of NC candidate Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar in Bhaladmi tole of Itahari Municipality -9. At least 14 persons including a 14-month old baby were hurt in the explosion that occurred shortly after the leaders started addressing the rally.
Two Indians held with IEDs, huge amount of IEDs seized in Butwal
With security being tightened amid unabated incidents of IED explosions targeting mainly those involved in poll campaign, police have arrested two Indian nationals with IEDs in Dhunibesi Municipality of Dhading on Friday when they were heading toward Kathmandu from Kakarbhitta.
Acting on a tip off, police stopped the bus (Na 7 Kha 4976) they were traveling in during a security check. Police have confiscated two pressure cooker bombs, two socket bombs and other materials used in making explosives hidden inside their bags.
Police also recovered a letter from them sent by Mechi Mahakali Joint Force. As informed by Khanikhola Police, the recovered explosives have been handed over to a team of Nepal Army for safe disposal.
The arrested have been identified as Raju Biswas, 23, of Kokrajhar of Assam and Mohammad Farman, 31, of West Bengal. Police have put them in custody for interrogation.
Separately, police have confiscated a huge cache of IEDs in Butwal. According to police, altogether 250 units of electronic detonators were seized in the course of a search operation.
Rupandehi District Police chief, Superintendent of Police Shyam Gyawali declined to give details about the place from where the IEDs were recovered and those arrested, saying their investigation is still underway.
Police sources said the recovered detonators are powerful and this is the first time such explosives were recovered in Nepal. The Special Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police is currently investigating whether the recovered detonators were brought in by the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal or by any other group.