Nation going to the 2nd phase polls despite spate of bomb explosions

Pritam Bhattarai, KATHMANDU: The country is bracing for the second and final phase of the December 7 elections, with the people visibly eager to go to the polls to choose their representatives. All the poll preparations have been completed, and a tight security arrangement has been in place, the government has claimed. 

However, a series of incidents of bomb explosions taking place indicates a lax security arrangement. The demands for such incidents or who is behind them are unknown, as no one has come forward to own up the responsibility for explosions. (Netra Bikram Chand-led CPN-Maoist, a party which parted ways with the mother now CPN (Maoist Centre) opposing the polls is accused of such incidents.) If demands for the incidents are unclear, then why they are taking place? Is it to disrupt the polls and if so why?

(The vehicle carrying Nepali Congress cadres lying upside down after a pressure cooker bomb exploded just 500 metres from the vehicle carrying NC’s Ram Sharan Mahat while he was on his way to Kakani, in Nuwakot, on Friday, November 17, 2017. Photo: Ramji Paudel)

As for the Chand-led party, what it wants (if is responsible for the incidents) even after waging a decade-long insurgency that killed nearly 17,000 people, and injured hundreds others. Besides the rebellion also threw the country backward in terms of development and caused a long standing political instability. Do the demands of the then Maoist not get addressed for which the insurgency was fought? Obviously the insurgency played a role in carrying out some changes, and incidents like removal of 240-year-old monarchy, declaration of the country a republic, secularism, inclusiveness, writing of the democratic republic constitution.
Having suffered through political upheavals like the insurgency, people’s movements, Madhes movement and the Indian blockade, and natural disasters as the April 2015 earthquake and the massive flooding in July and beginning of August this year, the country is slowly waking up to see the polls taking place with the hope of ending longstanding political instability and developing the country. In this context, why again incidents of explosion and threats of waging another war? Why not coming to a negotiating table for a consensus?
As for the government, a government is expected to hold polls in a fearless, peaceful and fair manner in a democratic country. Elections are integral part of democracy offering the people their right to choose their representatives to serve themselves and the nation. So their security is a matter of concern during and on Election Day.
However, a series of incidents of explosions are taking place ahead of the December 7 polls, while on the contrary, the government has claimed that a tight security has been maintained for the polls.
Dozens of incidents of bomb explosions have occurred across the country so far, with nearly dozen in even the capital city considered relatively to be in tight security arrangement. The incidents are targeted at election campaigns, and candidates so as to discourage the vote, and spread fears among voters. One was killed and many others were injured in such election targeted explosions.
On Monday, an improvised explosive device was detonated targeting Nepali Congress parliamentary candidate Gagan Kumar Thapa at Chapali of Budhanilkantha Municipality-2 in Kathmandu. Other six NC cadres were seriously injured in the explosion that took place during an election campaign. Likewise, a bomb went off in Tulsipur, Dang on November 28, killing a temporary police and other seven police personnel. The explosion was targeted at an election campaign attended by Nepali Congress President and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.
Likewise, NC parliamentary candidate Narayan Bahadur Karki was injured in a bomb explosion in Udayapurgadi rural municipality in Udayapur district on November 29. Karki who sustained injuries all over his body including the head, is still undergoing treatment at Teaching Hospital in the Capital.
Sadly, the temporary police Binod Chaudhary, the sole breadwinner in his family, became victim of the politics-laced incident. Chaudhary joined the temporary job just in order to earn money to support his family, completely ignorant of seizing opportunities to indulge in politics game. He was a civilian just struggling to manage two squares of meal a day for himself and his family. So who is to blame for the loss of Chaudhary’s family? RSS

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