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Election candidate gunned down in Nepal

Maoist rebels shot at Bijaya Lal Das, president of the Nepal Sadhbhawana Party Dhanusha district, near his party office in Kathmandu.

india Updated: Jan 23, 2006 11:52 IST

Suspected Maoist rebels gunned down a royalist election candidate in broad daylight near his office in southeastern Nepal, police said on Monday.

The incident occurred on Sunday at the town of Janakpur, 380 kilometres southeast of the capital Kathmandu, a police official said.

"Two rebels shot at Bijaya Lal Das, president of the Nepal Sadhbhawana Party Dhanusha district, near his party office... Sunday afternoon and fled the scene," duty officer Dor Bahadur Khadka in Janakpur told the agency by telephone.

"Das was shot three times in the chest and died while being rushed to a nearby hospital," the officer said.

Das had recently announced that he would run for the mayor of the municipality.

Security forces have been mobilised in the area to search for the assailants, police said.

Nepal's rebel Maoists have threatened to disrupt municipal polls called by King Gyanendra on February 8, but told a UN human rights group they did not intend to target candidates.

The controversial municipal elections are part of Gyanendra's roadmap to democracy. Gyanendra sacked the government a year ago and took total control of the Himalayan kingdom.

First Published: Jan 23, 2006 11:52 IST