As the opposition lawmakers resorted to vandalism in the Constituent Assembly (CA) on Monday night, the nationwide shutdown enforced jointly by the UCPN (Maoist), the CPN-Maoist and various indigenous groups saw clashes, vandalizing and torching of dozens of vehicles and arrests of over two dozen banda enforcers.
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, over 34 banda enforcers, including a woman, were arrested from different parts of the country on the charge of vandalism. About 18 vehicles were vandalized and 12 vehicles were torched across the country.
Of the total arrests, 28 banda enforcers were arrested in Kathmandu Valley alone. Five motorcycles, eight taxis and two buses were vandalized in the capital, said Spokesperson of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s Office, DIG Hemanta Pal. Police said two vehicles in Lalitpur, one in Bhaktapur, three in Chitwan, one in Jhapa, two in Makawanpur, four in Kaski, two in Banke, one in Mahottari and one in Dadelhura were also vandalized.
UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s personal security detail and three lawmakers were injured when banda enforcers and security forces clashed at Bijulibazaar. Soon after the CA meeting was adjourned till Wednesday, Dahal escorted by the security personnel went to the prohibited area to address a mass gathered at Bijulibazaar. But protestors hurled stones and charged batons at the police van carrying Dahal.
Keeping in view security threat to Dahal, his security detail took him away from the scene without wasting any time. Another Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai addressed the mass.
“The clash was a result of misunderstanding. The agitators thought the police van approaching them was sent there to disperse the gathering,” said UCPN (Maoist) Secretary Girirajmani Pokharel.
UCPN (Maoist) leader Janardan Sharma sustained head injuries in the clash and was rushed to Norvic hospital for treatment. Likewise, UCPN (Maoist) lawmakers Anita Pariyar and Rupa Maharjan had also minor injuries. Two APF personnel were also injured in the clash.
UCPN (Maoist) leader Janardan Sharma was injured during a scuffle between banda enforcers and police in New Baneshwar, Kathmandu on Tuesday.(Bijay Rai/Republica)
The Ministry of Home Affairs has beefed up security in and around the CA building. Keeping in view possible vandalism at the CA hall on Tuesday, about 250 marshals were deployed inside the CA hall to maintain order during House meeting.
Over 3,800 Nepal Police personnel and 2,200 Armed Police Force (APF) personnel were deployed in the Kathmandu Valley alone. Of them, 450 personnel from Nepal Police and 300 from APF were deployed around CA building.
Meanwhile, in its press statement, the Ministry of Home Affairs said proper coordination between security agencies helped prevent violent activities during the banda.