Pre-poll violence rising in Nepal
In spiralling pre-poll violence in Nepal, scores of people were injured in fresh clashes between cadres of Nepali Congress and Left parties, prompting a worried Election Commission to urge parties to refrain from activities that will affect the credibility of the vote.
Curfew was clamped in Dadeldhura district in far west Nepal after Maoists and CPN-UML activists allegedly beat up Nepali Congress workers during canvassing on Monday for the April 10 Constituent Assembly polls.
The cadres of the two Left parties attacked the Nepali Congress district office accusing its workers of burning their party flags. Over two-dozen people were injured in the violence.
In another incident, a central member of People's Front Nepal Kaman Singh Lama was seriously injured when cadres of CPN-United attacked him during campaigning in Kaver district.
With the feud among the parties spilling on the streets, Chief Election Commissioner Bhoj Raj Pokharel met Prime Minister Girija P Koirala, Maoist chief Prachanda and CPN-UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal urging them to take steps to stop the violence that could hamper canvassing.
"The violence, including killings, beatings and the threatening of election candidates has occurred in several parts of the country and the trend is increasing... We are worried," Chief Election Commission Bhojraj Pokhrel said.
"This will spoil the election environment.... It will raise questions over the elections being credible and fair," he told reporters.
Urging all parties to exercise restraint and control their cadres, Koirala said the EC had the authority to mobilise Nepal Army, police and civil servants if needed.