The government on Tuesday branded the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal a criminal group and banned its activities, just days after a second blast in the Capital. The outfit had owned up to both the explosions, but had shown no signs of renouncing violence.
The Chand party’s violent activities in the run-up to the second investment summit, scheduled for March 29-30, had emerged as the government’s major cause for concern. At least three ministers confirmed to the Post that Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting decided to ban Chand’s outfit for its involvement in criminal activities.
The Maoist offshoot, which had long been accused of indulging in extortion, had in recent days stepped up its activities and moved beyond its “donation drive”, and the two blasts were part of the group’s intensified activities. The government had promised to tame the Chand party and curb its activities, but it had stopped short of making it clear whether it was a political outfit or a terror group.
In recent years, Chand’s outfit had been bombing infrastructure projects funded by foreign investors. The group had earlier attacked the project site of Arun III hydroelectricity project and warned that it will not allow the Upper Karnali hydroelectricity project, being developed by an Indian private firm, to move forward.
After a series of arson attacks at telephone towers of Ncell, a private sector telecommunication company, the outfit on March 8 detonated a bomb at the residence of a foreign employment businessman. On Tuesday afternoon, Oli, during his meeting with representatives from the foreign employment sector, had ruled out talks with “a group that is involved in bombing and criminal activities”.
At the Cabinet meeting, according to a minister, the prime minister said that the government had earlier invited the Chand party for dialogue but it refused.
A politburo member of the Chand party, however, told the Post that they were never called for talks officially. Watch Full coverage video to get the details!