-Clashes in Dolakha, Sindhupalchowk and Humla
-One dead and at least a dozen injured in Dolakha
-One murdered in Tanahun
-Delayed voting in ward no 4 of Namobuddha Municipality
-One died of natural causes in Indra Sarowar after casting vote
KATHMANDU, May 15: The first phase of the local elections was held largely in peaceful manner in three provinces on Sunday, the Election Commission and other election observers have said.
A total of 49,377 candidates are in the race for 13555 seats of local bodies, including Kathmandu and three other metropolitan cities, one Sub Metropolitan City, 92 Municipal Councils and 182 Rural Municipal Councils.
Except for a few incidents of violence -- including clashes in some polling stations of Dolakha, firing incidents and clashes between rival parties in Humla, Kavre, Sindhupalchowk and Mugu -- the polling process remained peaceful across the three province that went to polls in the first phase.
Notwithstanding some sporadic cases of violence, the polls took place in largely peaceful atmosphere with overwhelming public participation, the National Human Rights Commission has said in a statement.
In a press conference, the EC has also said that the overall polling process was largely satisfactory.
In Dolakha, one Nakul Bhujel was shot dead by security forces in a clash between police and miscreants who were trying to snatch ballot boxes from a polling booth in ward-1 of Melung Rural Municipal Council. At least a dozen others were injured. Of them, four people who were seriously injured during the clash were subsequently airlifted to Kathmandu for treatment.
Similar clashes were reported in Bhotshipa polling station of Indrawati Rural Municipal Council in Sindhupalchowk and Kharpu of Humla district. The voting had to be briefly suspended in both of these polling centers.
One Bikram Pariyar of Byas Municipality of Tanahun was killed by an unidentified group while he was strolling around the village with his friends after casting the ballot. One more death was reported in Makawanpur due to sudden cardiac arrest. Makawanpur Police said that one Birman Pakhrin died while he was returning home from a polling station at Indra Sarowar.
Voting was delayed in ward no 4 of Namobuddha Municipality after villagers protested the killing of a local. On the eve of polls on Saturday, Armed Police Force personnel had mistakenly shot dead one Nawaraj Pathak, a local farmer. Police later said that they mistook Pathak for a local goon.
Despite threat from poll-opposing forces to disrupt the elections, no major incidents of violence were reported in major cities including Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan and Surkhet. Normal vehicular movements were restricted throughout the day in order to ensure adequate security for the local elections.
Security forces were kept on high alert in all districts based on internal security assessment of the Ministry of Home Affairs. Security forces including Nepal Army personnel were seen patrolling the street of the valley throughout the day.
In total, a total of 22,575 security personnel from Nepal Police, 17,356 from Armed Police Force, 383 from Nepal Investigation Department, and 22,602 temporary police were mobilized in 6,642 polling stations in the 283 local units of 34 districts in the three provinces, according to MoHA. An undisclosed number of Nepal Army personnel had patrolled the outermost security ring of the polling centers.