General strike stalls life in Nepal, a day after explosions kill 4

Police suspect the CPN-M for the blasts that shook Kathmandu on Sunday.

A general strike called by the outlawed Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist(CPN-M) stalled life in Nepal, a day after a series of explosions rocked the capital Kathmandu, killing at least four and injuring seven others.

Educational institutions and business establishments remained shut in major cities while traffic was thin due to the strike called to protest the killing of CPN-M cadres during an encounter two months ago. Police suspect that the CPN-M, that once split from the ruling Communist Party, are responsible for the blasts as its members have been protesting the arrest of their supporters.

The bombings were the deadliest since the government imposed a ban on the activities of Netra Birkram Chand-led outfit Communist Party of Nepal (CPN), outside its office in Nakkhu in Southern Nepal that killed one person.

A cadre of the Chand-led outfit was killed on the spot and another was injured after a bomb exploded at a house in Ghattekulo in Kathmandu on Sunday. The deceased has been identified as Prajjwal Shahi and is said to be the leader of a CPN-aligned student wing. According to the police, a bomb accidentally exploded while he was making it. Police have found pamphlets belonging to the splinter communist group at the explosion site.

Another pressure cooker bomb exploded at a barber’s shop in Sukedhara in Kathmandu, killing three and injuring four. Police suspect two of the deceased to be CPN cadres. The injured persons are undergoing treatment at a hospital in Kathmandu.

In another incident, two cadres of the outfit were injured when a bomb they were carrying on a motorcycle exploded in Nagdhunga of Chandragiri Municipality in the western part of Kathmandu district. Protestors torched a passenger bus in Surkheton on Monday. However, no one was injured in the incident.

Nepal Army diffused bombs at various places including Pokhara Metropolitan City, Morang, Baitadi and Tanhu districts. The security forces also recovered suspected objects from different parts of the country. Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa has instructed the law enforcement agencies to step up the security in view of the violence that has erupted in the wake of the general strike.

The CPN-M had split from the Maoist party which fought government troops from 1996 to 2006 when its members gave up their armed revolt to join a peace process and mainstream politics.

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