After determining that polling at various voting stations in Dolakha on November 20 did not meet its standards, the Election Commission decided to call off the elections for voters casting their ballots at 10 polling stations in Dolakha. The commission then ordered re-polling on December 1, 2022.
Several news websites reporting on the re-polling stated that voters cast their votes peacefully. Re-polling at eight polling booths in Baiteshwor Rural Municipality wards 6, 3 and 2 and two booths in Tamakoshi Rural Municipality Ward No 2 was held in a peaceful manner, said a news report published on Ekantipur.
Nepal Samaya also posted a similar news report quoting the office of the Chief Election Officer as saying that voting concluded peacefully.
Social media users, however, circulated videos purportedly showing clashes between political party cadres and security forces on re-polling day. A TikTok user ‘lalkumar moktan’ posted a video showing tensions brewing during re-polling in Baiteshwor Rural Municipality Ward No 2. Similarly, a Facebook user ‘Lalu Moktan’ shared the same video claiming that it showed cadres from the ruling coalition resort to tit-for-tat by vandalising the UML candidate’s vehicle.
Another Facebook page ‘sunaulo online’ posted the same video claiming that a confrontation took place during re-polling in Baiteshwor Rural Municipality Ward No 3. The video allegedly shows a clash between security forces and a group of people. One can hear people saying “Open fire,” and, “Do not open fire.”
But the news reports didn’t mention anything about such an incident. After we noticed conflicting reports, we decided to fact-check.
We first googled keywords in Nepali such as “Dolakha puna matadan’ [re-polling in Dolakha], ‘Dolakha puna matadan jhadap’ [Dolakha re-polling clash]. It led us to a video published on Deshsanchar. “During re-polling, a clash took place in Baiteshwor in Dolakha on Thursday,” Deshsanchar’s video caption reads.
Similarly, “Tensions rising in Dolakha Baiteshwor-3 even during re-polling; UML candidate Balkrishna Siwakoti suffers insult,” Nepal Press tweeted along with a video clip.
We also found a news report published in Naya Patrika Daily. According to the report, supporters of the ruling coalition clashed with the CPN-UML cadres at Janajyoti Higher Secondary School in Baiteshwor -2, Putlikath during the re-polling.
It says that it all started after ruling coalition cadres shouted anti-UML slogans at Kalidhunga Higher Secondary School in Baiteshwor Rural Municipality Ward No 3. In the viral video, Balkrishna Siwakoti, the UML candidate for the House of Representatives, is seen facing people chanting slogans against him. This confirmed the viral video was filmed at the Baiteshwor Ward No 3 polling station.
We called up Lal Kumar Moktan, who filmed the video, to learn more about it. He said the video was filmed between 4:30 pm and 5:00 pm on re-polling day in Majuwa, Ward No 3 of Baiteshwor Rural Municipality.
According to him, the clash took place as officials prepared to wrap up polling. He said that Balkrishna Siwakoti, the UML candidate, spent the entire day at the Kalidhunga polling station and was leaving when the Nepali Congress candidate entered. Then, members of the ruling alliance stopped him and chanted slogans against him.
That’s when security personnel clashed with ruling party supporters.
“At around 2 pm, UML cadres pelted stones at a vehicle belonging to Kundan Kafle, a Nepali Congress Provincial Assembly candidate, at the Janajyoti voting station. I saw it myself. In response, the supporters of the ruling alliance shouted slogans against the UML candidate,” he said. “In the video, you can hear a man saying ‘do not open fire.’ That’s me .”
Supporters of the ruling alliance surrounded the UML candidate for several hours. He was then allowed to pass, he told Nepal Check. However, the presence of security personnel meant that the re-polling went ahead despite the confrontation between rival political parties.
During the re-polling, which took place at 10 booths of Dolakha, only some witnessed clashes. Nepal Check concludes that although the re-polling was not affected by the clashes, calling it peaceful would be half-true.
|Claim||Claimed by||Nepal Check Verdict|
Re-polling at 10 polling booths in Dolakha was peaceful
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