-  Saturday 24 October 2020

Three police posts attacked in Khotang

 -  The Kathmandu Post

KHOTANG, Jan 23 2008 - An unidentified armed group stormed three newly-reinstated police posts in the southern part of remote Khotang district Monday night and Tuesday morning and captured at least seven rifles, two pistols, 528 bullets and two communications sets.

The group outnumbered a poorly-manned police post in Phaktang village, and looted all three .303 rifles and 300 bullets and a pistol with its 14 bullets at round 6:30 Monday evening.

Six hours later, the group attacked another police post in Chisapani located three hours' walking distance from Phaktang and looted four .303 rifles, 200 bullets and a pistol with 14 bullets.

The group seized control of the police post at around 1 am Tuesday, after a brief clash with the police. Police fired 50-60 shots in retaliation after the group launched a "surprise attack", Deputy Superintendent of Police Dipak Thapa at District Police Office, Diktel said.

Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) Shailendra Gachchhadar, was on leave and Head Constable Bal Bahadur Bhujel was in charge of the police post in Chisapani.

After the raid, the group marched southwards from Chisapani and seized another police post in Devisthan, located at two hours walking distance from Chisapani, Tuesday morning. But there was no weapon at the post and the group looted combat fatigues and other articles, according to police.

All the police posts were manned by 10 police personnel each with an ASI in charge. The posts were reinstated after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the government and the Maoists.

Before launching the attack on Phaktang police post, two persons from the group distracted ASI Raj Kumar Thapa and Head Constable Bir Narayan Chaudhari with a false complaint about a minor village dispute. Then, all of a sudden, about 25-26 persons surrounded the police post and locked the policemen inside.

The identity of the group and motive behind the attack are yet to be ascertained but the group reportedly claimed it was collecting arms to disrupt the Constituent Assembly polls. "During the attacks, they claimed that they are against the elections and need weapons to disrupt the elections," said DSP Thapa, citing reports received from the incident sites.

Police have launched a search for the attackers and blocked possible escape routes but there was no report till late evening about the identity and whereabouts of the group. According to a report from Udayapur, a person called local reporters on the phone and claimed he was a member of Khambuwan Liberation Front and his group had launched the attacks.

"But the authenticity of the claim has yet to be verified," said Kamal Mani Kafle, chief district officer of Khotang.

The Armed Police Force airdropped three helicopter loads of reinforcement in Khotang district headquarters. Police in neighboring Bhojpur, Udayapur and Sunsari district also have been deployed to search for the raiders.

Source : The Kathmandu Post

Other articles by reporter The Kathmandu Post

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