Nepali Times Asian Paints
Update
Eve of polls



The third day of week-long national shutdown called by Maoist rebels was marked by sporadic violent incidents throughout the country. Most of Nepal\'s highways had booby-trapped Maoist roadblocks, and intercity traffic had cme to a grinding halt. In Kathmandu itself there was more traffic on the roads, however this tapered off towards evening as fears of Maoist action against polling booths for Wednesday\'s municipal polls grew. By 6 PM the streets were already largely deserted while the army\'s armoured vehicles patrolled the streets.

A taxi driver was shot dead by unidentified gunmen at Gwarko on the Ring Road on Tuesday evening. Officials said one security personnel was killed while four others were injured in an explosion at a section of Mahendra Highway in Kanchanpur district. They said the explosion happened when a patrolling troop tried to remove piled up stones Maoist rebels are suspected to have placed as obstruction on the highway. Five security personnel and a civilian were killed in Tuesday night firefight in Panauti 30 km east of Kathmandu while five were killed in a skirmish in Gaighat in eastern Nepal.

Government spokesman and State Minister for Information and Communication, Shrish SJB Rana said necessary security arrangements had been made for the municipal polls slated for 8 February. All security agencies have been mobilized and they are all alert, he said at a press meet. The polls will go ahead although the participation could have been much better had the political population of the country been cooperative. The seven party coalition has been opposing the polls alleging that the government was staging it to legitimize the one year old royal takeover.

In a fresh statement Wednesday, Maoist leader Prachanda warned of a decisive major attack and gave a "final warning" to those taking part in Wednesday\'s municipal polls.



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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