KATHMANDU, March 26: The government has stepped up efforts to arrest the leaders and cadres of the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) ever since the government restricted the activities of the outfit on March 12. In coordination of the special task force formed by the Nepal Police to monitor the activities of the terrorist-labeled party, district police offices (DPO) across the nation have stepped up the arrest of the members of the outfit.
On Monday alone, four major leaders of the CPN were arrested by the police while one has been handed a jail term for his involvement in the recent bomb blast in the capital. Police arrested the Koshi bureau coordinator of the party Ghanshyam Shrestha aka Pushkar from the Kanepokhari area of Morang.
Shrestha, the former chairman of Radio Mirmire, was arrested and immediately taken into police custody on Sunday. He was also the bureau member of the then United CPN (Maoist) led by former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal. Two more cadres of the party were arrested along with him.
Similarly, Dhanraj Shahi, a leader of the party, who was planning to bomb a police patrol vehicle deployed for the security of a SEE center in Kalikot was arrested on Monday. Shahi, 31, of Tilagufa Rural Municipality-6, was arrested in possession of various explosives including a kilogram of gun powder.
A cadre of the Chand outfit was handed a jail term for his involvement in the bomb blast in Ncell corporate office in Lalitpur in February which claimed one life and injured two. Tilak Tamang aka Akrosh, who is a member of the Udayapur district committee of the party, was arrested the very next day of the declaration of the party to conduct a nationwide strike. The District Court, Udayapur, slapped a jail sentence on the CPN cadre following his alleged involvement in the bomb blast.
Earlier on Friday, a team of police deployed from the Metropolitan Police Crime Division arrested Hemanata Prakash Oli, the mid-central command leader of the Chand-led CPN, and four commanders of the party.
The government has stepped up measures to contain the activities of the outlawed CPN—a Maoist splinter group involved lately in various illegal activities including extortion and bombings in various parts of the country.
Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and the National Investigation Department are working in coordination to arrest cadres of the Chand outfit. They are also out to seize the weapons the group is believed to have possessed since the time of the Maoist armed insurgency, senior police officials said.
Since the government decided on March 12 to ban all activities of the Chand group and treat the group as a criminal outfit, police have arrested at least 21 of its central and district-level leaders including those arrested on Tuesday. The government move comes amid intelligence reports that the group was planning to start an insurgency, bringing together former Maoist combatants and disgruntled elements.