Arson and explosions targeting over 15 towers across the country
KATHMANDU, Feb 24: A series of attacks took place across the country targeting operating towers of telecommunications service provider Ncell. The attacks on Friday night injured a few civilians and killed at least one.
One of the three people who were critically injured in the 'pressure cooker bomb' explosion at Ncell tower at Nakkhu in Lalitpur on Friday succumbed to the injuries. Police identified the deceased as Singh Prasad Gurung.
Similar attacks were carried out at Ncell towers in Jajarkot, Rupandehi, Kaski and Kailali, Kanchanpur and Achham, among other districts.
Unidentified groups on Friday night torched Ncell towers in Jureli and Nalgadh Municipality-1 of Jajarkot. Solar panels and few other materials on the ground were destroyed in the attack.
Following the attacks, police personnel are providing security to all six towers at various locations of the district, according to Shyamlal Khatri, chief of District Police Office, Jajarkot.
“Locals were involved in the incident but we haven't been able to pinpoint particular people or groups. But we have started providing security to all the Ncell towers in the district from Saturday morning,” he said.
In Sudurpaschim Province, similar attacks were carried out at two Ncell towers in Kanchanpur and Achham districts. Some groups broke the lock around fence of Ncell's tower in Shuklaphanta Municipality-4 of Kanchanpur and set the tower on fire. Cables and boards burned down, according to Area Police Office, Jhalari.
A paper with some message was recovered from the site. The message condemned Ncell for not following Supreme Court's order, evading tax and not investing some portion of its profits in Nepal.
Another tower at Achham's Dhakari Rural Municipality-3 was also torched on Friday night, which burnt some cables and obstructed its telecommunication service. It is not known immediately who was involved but police suspects Biplav-led Maoists. Fearing similar attacks, police are providing security to Ncell towers in the district.
Similarly, various unidentified groups attacked five Ncell towers in Rupandehi, Kapilvastu, Rolpa, Banke and Pyuthan districts of Province 5. One tower of Nepal Telecom at Sunil Smiriti Rural Municipality was also set on fire while.
Ncell towers at Banganga Municipality-11 of Kapilvastu, Kohalpur Municipality-15 of Banke, and Swargadwari Municipality-3 of Pyuthan among other places was set on fire.Some unidentified groups also targeted several locations of Ncell towers in Kaski. Towers at Pokhara Metropolis-37 and Bahare Dada were set on fire, said Deputy Superintendent of Police Rabindra Man Gurung of Kaski.Room storing important batteries and backup materials for the towers was vandalized. However, the damage has not been assessed yet. DSP Gurung said that they are looking for the groups responsible.Similarly, towers in Mulpani of Baglung Municipality-7, Galkot Municipality-8 and Nisikhola Rural Municipality-7 of Baglung were also attacked, according to District Police Office, Baglung.The groups also carried out similar assault against Ncell towers in Gorkha district. Towers in Gorkha Municipality and Gandaki Rural Municipality were set on fire
(Dil Bahadur Chhatyal from Dhangadhi, Janak KC from Jajarkot, Rekha Bhusal from Butwal, Dinesh Subedi from Rolpa contributed to this report)