A communist party candidate was gunned down by unidentified men while seven Maoists were killed in police firing following fresh clashes between workers of Left parties and Nepali Congress, further raising the political temperature in Nepal ahead of tomorrow's landmark Constituent Assembly polls.
Rishi Prasad Sharma, a candidate of the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist) was shot dead and five others injured during a clash between NC and CPN-UML cadres in Surkhet district last evening, police said.
An indefinite curfew was clamped in two villages of the district after the incident and election countermanded in the Surkhet -1 constituency from where Sharma was contesting.
Nepali Congress has denied any hand in the killing. At least seven Maoist cadres were killed when police opened fire during a clash between the Left activists and the Nepali Congress workers in Dang district in western Nepal.
Violence erupted after the Maoist affiliated Young Communist League activists "captured" 33 Nepali Congress cadres last evening accusing them of campaigning for NC leader Khum Bahadur Khadka even after the campaign period had ended.
Five Maoist cadres were killed and 20 others injured when police opened fire to protect Khadka, officials said. However, Maoist leader Sagar claimed that two cadres succumbed to injuries later, taking the death toll to seven.
An indefinite curfew has been imposed in the area. Nepal has witnessed a violence-marred campaign for the crucial elections to elect a body that will rewrite the Constitution and decide the fate of the 240-year-old only surviving Hindu monarchy.
The vote is a key step towards culmination of the peace process that started with the signing of a 2006 deal following which the Maoists gave up their decade-long armed struggle and joined political mainstream.