KATMANDU, Dec 1: Concerned over the ongoing attacks targeting election candidates and election campaigns in various parts of the country, the Election Commission (EC) has said that the political parties also need to take steps to stop violence by poll-opposing groups instead of just relying on security agencies.
At a meeting of high-level security committee, election commissioner Sudhir Kumar Shah said security agencies alone cannot prevent poll-related violence therefore the major parties should also play their roles to stop such violence. "Some violent incidents have occurred in the country in recent days although the first phase of the election remained largely peaceful," argued commissioner Shah at the meeting attended by the security chiefs and secretaries of the ministries dealing with poll security.
Without taking name, Commissioner Shah blamed the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal for the ongoing attacks on candidates and electoral rallies and said that the responsibility of protecting the voters and candidates also falls on the political parties. "A splinter group of Maoists still opposes mainstream politics and elections," said commissioner Shah, adding, "All the blame for security lapses should not be heaped on the security agencies alone because they have averted several such attacks."
Scores of people including candidates have been injured in attacks and ambushes in recent weeks. A temporary policeman, Binod Chaudhary, died in Dang this week when an unidentified group detoned an improvised explosive device near the venue of a rally attended by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.
At the meeting Commissioner Shah instructed the security agencies to revise their operation strategies as per the need in the context of poll-opposing groups targeting voters and candidates ahead of polls.
Security chiefs attending the meeting said they have been working to ensure poll security in a coordinated manner. Nepal Police chief Prakash Aryal, Armed Police Force chief Singha Bahadur Shrestha, National Investigation Department head Dilip Regmi and Nepal Army's Major General Sharad Giri and secretaries of home and defense ministries were present at the meeting.