More violence in Nepal, indefinite curfew near capital

April 8th, 2008 - 2:40 pm ICT by admin  

By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, April 8 (IANS) Indefinite curfew was imposed in a major town near the capital Tuesday as clashes between Nepal’s ruling parties continued to mount in violation of the election code of conduct and a pact inked by the parties last week. Dhadingbesi town in central Nepal, north of Kathmandu valley, came under indefinite curfew from 10 a.m. as Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s Nepali Congress party continued to clash with its peer, the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (UML), just 48 hours before the crucial constituent assembly election.

Reports also continued to pour in about attacks by Maoist cadres on their major rivals.

The Young Communist League (YCL), the dreaded strong arm of the Maoists, continued to attack Nepali Congress and UML cadres despite its chief Prachanda inking a pact with the two parties last week, promising to ensure a peaceful election.

About 150 YCL cadres stormed the area between Tanahun and Lamjung districts Tuesday as a sequel to an attack the previous day on a Nepali Congress rally to campaign for a former minister, Govinda Raj Joshi.

In remote Arghakhanchi district, YCL cadres assaulted Nepali Congress contestant Man Bahadur Bishwokorma while in Nawalparasi district, they attacked party workers with daggers.

The YCL has been decried as the worst offender in pre-poll violence by various independent international observers.

Concern has also been expressed at the Maoists using their armed combatants from the guerrillas People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to campaign for Thursday’s polls.

According to the peace agreement, the armies of both the Maoists and the state have to be confined to barracks to ensure a free and fair election.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s special representative for Nepal Ian Martin, who also heads the UN Mission in Nepal that is supervising the PLA and its arms, Monday said if the former rebels deployed the PLA for the polls, it would be considered invalid by the international community.

Though the election is being held finally after being postponed twice last year, there is still fear about the outcome with the Maoists having threatened to start a new movement if the verdict went against them.

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