Election candidate shot dead in western Nepal
(dpa) - Unidentified gunmen Wednesday shot dead an election candidate in western Nepal, raising fears of further violence ahead of a key election scheduled in early April.
Kamal Prasad Adhikari, representing Rashtriya Janamorcha, was shot dead after the assailants dragged him from his house in Banke district, 420 kilometres west of the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, on Tuesday night, the police said.
"Adhikari was shot several times by the assailants at close range," a district police office said. "He was rushed to hospital in serious condition and died Wednesday morning due to excessive blood loss."
Adhikari was vice-president of his party's Banke district committee and was contesting the elections from constituency number two of the district.
Adhikari is reported to have identified some of the attackers before his death and police say they have arrested at least two suspects.
Others involved in the attack reportedly fled across the border into India.
Adhikari's death was the first major election-related violence and has raised concerns that it might lead to further trouble.
Nepal goes to the polls on April 10 to choose a constituent assembly which will write a new constitution and ratify the parliament's decision to abolish the monarchy.
The campaign has so far been relatively peaceful barring minor incidents involving scuffles between opposing political parties.
The Nepalese government has deployed special police units to provide security to the candidates and their rallies.
The police have also asked candidates to inform them of their election activity schedule so they can provide security.
More than 100,000 police, including temporary officers recruited for the elections, will eventually be mobilised for election security.
The election to choose a constituent assembly is a key component of a peace agreement between the government and the Maoists which ended a decade-long communist insurgency in the Himalayan nation.