KATHMANDU, Oct 22: Police have succeeded in arresting six out of ten people involved in masterminding bomb attacks at various schools of the Valley last month.
Cadres and leaders of a little-known Maoist outfit, Maoist Communist Center Nepal (MCCN), had made schools as 'soft target' by planting and detonating improvised explosive devices (IED) early morning on September 20 for the sake of 'easy money'.
Police had immediately arrested two cadres of the outfit but most of them were able to escape.
Valley in-charge of the outfit Shankar Lakhe and his deputy Chandra Bahadur Tamang were arrested immediately after the bomb attacks. Others arrested recently include MCCN Vice President Bishnu Prasad Paudel, General Secretary Keshav Dahal aka Prakash, coordinator of the outfit Binod Thapa aka Min Devkota and politburo member Mustakim Ansari aka Aazad, according to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner's Office, Ranipokhari.
The four still at large have been identified as MCCN President Devendra Singh Mahata aka Nirman, Treasurer Jaanu Shrestha, Suman Shrestha aka Jitendra, coordinator of MCCN's wing Young Communist Force Nepal and Krishna Rai, central committee member of the outfit.
Majority of the members of the group were found to have set up their organization in 2006 before the Maoist establishment signed the Comprehensive Peace Accord. “We have been intensifying search for the absconding members and analyzing their connections with other criminal activities,” AIG Pratap Singh Thapa, commissioner of the office, said.
During one month long investigation, police concluded that the main motive of the crime was to terrorize the schools, students and their parents to fulfill their demands related to ransom. AIG Thapa said, "They targeted private schools as it was easy for them to collect ransom under the cover of politics even if their party was not registered."
However, the outfit had claimed that the movement was against existing anomalies in the education system, unbearable fees in the private schools among others.
Police said that the masterminds behind the crime were able to escape the police soon after the incident as they had already planted the IEDs in the schools two hours before the first blast occurred.
“We were able to arrest three involved in the crime within few hours of the incident,” said SSP Bikram Singh Thapa, chief of the Metropolitan Police Range Office, Kathmandu.
Police have charge sheeted the alleged persons under laws related to explosives and organized crime.