The government on Tuesday banned the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal a criminal group and banned its activities, just days after a second blast in the Capital. The outfit had owned up to both the explosions, but had shown no signs of renouncing violence.

The Chand party’s violent activities in the run-up to the second investment summit, scheduled for March 29-30, had emerged as the government’s major cause for concern.

At least three ministers confirmed to the Post that Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting decided to ban Chand’s outfit for its involvement in criminal activities.

The Maoist offshoot, which had long been accused of indulging in extortion, had in recent days stepped up its activities and moved beyond its “donation drive”, and the two blasts were part of the group’s intensified activities.

The government had promised to tame the Chand party and curb its activities, but it had stopped short of making it clear whether it was a political outfit or a terror group.