KATHMANUD, Feb 24: Ncell, a privately owned mobile network operator in Nepal, has condemned the explosion in front of its office in Nakkhu, Lalitpur on Friday evening that left one dead and two injured.
“Ncell is very shocked and saddened by the tragic and irresponsible explosion in Nakkhu on Friday evening which cost the life of an innocent person and seriously injuring three others. Our hearts and prayers go to the victims and their families during this difficult time. Ncell strongly condemns this senseless act of terror causing fear and concerns in the community and surrounding,” the telecommunication company said in a public notice on Sunday.
An unidentified group targeted over 15 Ncell offices and transmission towers across the country. The pressure cooker bomb used at the gate of Ncell headquarters was one of the several improvised explosive device (IED), which took life of Sim Prasad Gurung, 49, a retired Singapore police and injured Pratikshya Khaka, 26, and Urusha Manandhar, 25. Khadka and Manandhar are out of danger now, according to Nepal Mediciti Hospital.
“The company also strongly condemns the series of vandalism and destruction to Ncell’s base transmissions stations (BST) in different parts of the country by unidentified groups.”
Due to the said vandalism attacks of the several key BTS sites on Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the districts including Baglung, Myagdi, Kaski, Nawalparasi and Kapilvastu, among others, essential basic telephony and emergency communications needs of communities living in rural areas of those districts have been regrettably affected,” said Ncell.
“Ncell apologizes to our affected customers for this unforeseen disturbance to our services. We thank our valued customers for the understanding, patience and support.”
POLICE UPS SECURITY MEASURES
Nepal Police has tightened the security measures across the country including Ncell towers and possible target sites following the explosions and attacks targeting the Ncell towers.
“We have increased our presence and changed our duty patters to ensure safety and security, said Nepal Police Spokesperson SSP Uttam Raj Subedi.
“We have deployed police personnel to protect Ncell communications towers across the country,” he added.
The police have nabbed sixteen suspects including six from the Kathmandu valley for their involvement in the blasts. Of them two are security guards at the Ncell compound. Police suspected the two ex-army personnel after watching the CCTV footage, according to sources.
BIPLAV’S INVOLVEMENT SUSPECTED
Police have suspected the hand of former Maoist rebel party Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) led by Netra Bikram Chanda ‘Biplav’ in the multiple attacks in the Ncell towers. The Chand-led party has criticized Ncell for not following Supreme Court’s order and not paying all due taxes (38 billion capital gain taxes) to the government.
A paper containing a message condemning Ncell for evading taxes and not investing its profit in Nepal was also recovered from a blast site in Sukhlaphanta Municipality-4 of Kanchanpur district.
The police have urged the people to report any suspicious person, activity or objects by calling at 100.
The Ncell has also reiterated its “commitment to ensure the safety and security of its people and assets, through its ongoing collaboration with authorities.”
The company has also urged public to report any untoward incidence and suspicious actions to authorities.