In their bid to prove the presence of their ‘government’ Maoists are doing everything that they can do in the time of peace: from ‘arresting’ gundas and hooligans in the capital city to stopping people from playing cards in villages. We all know they are in the process of bargaining in the peace talks and they need to continue demonstrating their power and influences. But it seems people do not like all of their activities, especially those in which Maoists seem to be intervening personal rights of the citizens. The recent arrests of ‘criminals’ in the valley was widely appreciated but the in Sarlahi and Jhapa when the comrades intervened in Deusi and other activities, they faced stiff resistance from locals. Enough is enough, people decided to act against the comrades.
Here are reports that were published in today’s editions of Kantipur (in Nepali) and in the Kathmandu Post:
Irate locals burn Maoist check post
By Aman Koirala in SARLAHI & Lila Baral in JHAPA
KATHMANDU, Oct 25 – Protesting against Maoist interference and manhandling of Tihar revelers, locals burnt a Maoist check post and blocked the East-West Highway in Sarlahi. Similarly, in two different places in Jhapa district, locals beat up Maoists after the latter seized money from gamblers. And in Dhankuta, locals closed down the market to protest the manhandling of Deusi revelers by Maoists.
Villagers burn Maoist check post, block highway
In Raniganj, Sarlahi, villagers blocked the highway for three hours Wednesday protesting against the manhandling by Maoists of locals playing Deusi. The incensed locals also trashed a Maoist check post and a roadblock installed by Maoists. A unit of Maoist fighters had been patrolling the highway at night to prevent looting and had been charging fees to vehicles for the last three months.
Some 20 locals had gone to the check post Tuesday evening to play Deusi. After Maoists asked them not to create noise in the area, the locals were returning repudiating the “autocratic ways” of Maoists when the latter mercilessly beat up Bijaya Shrestha, a local, for an hour, leaving him severely injured.
In retaliation, locals set the Maoist check post on fire Wednesday morning and blocked traffic along the highway. They have been demanding that Maoists leave their village. Maoist district in-charge Prabhat has termed the incident as an “accident”. An all-party meeting of Maoists and seven parties discussed the issue at Parwanipur, some five kilometers north of the village. Bidur Pyakurel, district representative of Insec, said this is a stark evidence of Maoist atrocity and high-handedness.
Locals beat Maoists for seizing money
In Arjundhara 2, Jhapa, locals retaliated against six Maoist cadres after they seized cash from people playing cards in the house of one Gopal Dawadi Tuesday evening. Among those beaten up were Maoist cadres Sunny, Bikram, Bhikham and Ratna. The locals kept three of the cadres in their custody throughout Tuesday night and handed them over to Area Police Office, Sanischare, Wednesday morning. Later, Maoist cadres Dipendra and Nishana, who had arrived to settle the dispute, had to be taken in custody by police for their security after infuriated locals tried to attack them as well, according to sub-Inspector Durga Khanal.
Locals gheraoed the police office Wednesday morning and closed Sanishchare market throughout the day. Maoist commander Nishana accepted that Maoist cadres had made a mistake. An all-party meeting, including representatives from the seven parties, are trying to sort out the issue.
Similarly, in Kunwarkhod in southern Jhapa, locals captured three Maoists who had seized Rs 4,000 from locals playing dice Tuesday morning. The Maoist cadres were captured Tuesday evening when they returned to play Deusi. Eleven Maoists managed to escape. Locals, including Sante, Bharat and Mukhmel Rajbanshi were injured in the scuffle.
On Wednesday morning, the locals and Maoists again came to blows during a meeting organized to settle the issue. Maoist cadres Nishan, Sushil, Rakesh and Nirmal were injured, while five others fled. After the incident, a large group of Maoists have taken control of the market inspiring fear among locals.
Maoists beat locals for gambling
In Dhankuta, locals closed Sindhuwa bazaar throughout Wednesday in protest of the beating by Maoist of locals who were playing cards. On Tuesday afternoon, armed Maoists had beaten up six locals who were playing cards after celebrating Bhai Tika. The closure of the bazaar brought traffic from Myanglung of Tehrathum to Tamaphok of Sankhuwasabha, to a complete halt.
Maoists disrupt road traffic in capital
By Kosh Raj Koirala
KATHMANDU, OCT 25- Maoists blocked traffic movement for over two hours Wednesday morning, burnt tires along city roads, and chanted slogans in protest of police action against their cadres Tuesday evening.
Rebel cadres disrupted public transportation in various parts of the city including Koteshwor, Koushaltar, Gongabu, Balaju, Kalimati, Bouddha, New Baneshwor, Pulchowk, Satdobato, Durbar Marg and Chakrapath. Venting their fury, protesting Maoist cadres chanted strong slogans against police authority and obstructed vehicles from plying the city roads beginning 8 am.
The Maoists had taken to the street protesting police action against their cadres. Police had forcefully released an Armed Police Force personnel from Maoist captivity Tuesday evening after rebels refused to hand him over to them.
Maoist cadres had ‘arrested’ Armed Police Force personnel Tek Bahadur Tamang and a civilian Suresh Magar from Jorpati at about 2 pm for beating up locals and brought them to Maoist troops’ temporary camp at Jadibuti at about 5 pm.
Sources said police personnel had later reached Jadibuti to release them from Maoist control and to hand them over to Kathmandu District Police Office for legal action.
Representatives of Armed Police and civil police held a dialogue with PLA deputy commander Barsha Man Pun a.k.a. Ananta and other district level Maoist leaders until late evening. As the Maoists remained adamant in their demand that they should be given authority to punish the arrested cop and the local, police used force and took them away at about 8 in the evening.
Dhak Bahadur Karki, chief of Kathmandu District Police Office (KDPO), said both Tamang and Magar are currently detained at KDPO for prosecuting action under Public Offence Act.
According to Bouddha Ward Police Office, Tamang and Magar, had in a drunken state, beaten up Bhim Prasai and his spouse Saraswati Prasai at Jorpati-2 Naya Basti Tuesday afternoon. One Chandra Guragain, who had reached there to receive Bhaitika from his sister Saraswati, was also beaten up by the inebriated duo. The Prasai couple was manhandled after they requested the drunk cop not to make loud noise in front of their shop, police said.
Shanti Raj Koirala, chief of the Police Office, said the enraged duo beat up the Prasai couple including Guragain and vandalized a showcase at their shop and a few window screens of the same house. Saraswati has a wound on her forehead while her brother Guragain has received serious injury on his elbow. Both of them are currently undergoing treatment at B and B Hospital, Gwarko.
Talking to the Post, Hisila Yami, Maoist in-charge of Valley Special Bureau, said the Chakkajam was organized in protest of police manhandling of their cadres. “Police forcibly interfered though the criminals were handed over to us by people at Jadibuti. The Chakkajam was organized to protest police arrests and baton charge that left a few colleagues injured,” she said over telephone.
Yami said that locals had handed over the duo involved in hooliganism at Chabahil to them. She claimed that police had abruptly resorted to baton charge and taken away the ‘arrested’ duo when they were still holding dialogue.
Meanwhile, issuing a press statement, Human Rights Organization-Nepal (HURON) has asked Maoists not to organize protest programs that affect normal life.
And here an AFP report on Maoist’s ‘effort’ to control crime in Kathmandu Valley:
Nepal Maoists launch security patrols in capital to halt rising crime
KATHMANDU (AFP): Nepal’s Maoist rebels – accusing police of ineptitude – have begun patrolling capital Kathmandu in a bid to halt rising crime, angering the multi-party government who say the move is “totally illegal”.
“We have arrested 190 people, of whom 180 were freed after investigations,” said Sagar, the Maoist commander of what the rebels call operation crime control, which began earlier this month.
The rebel commander said the party had deployed 200 People’s Liberation Army soldiers in the Kathmandu Valley.
“We want to make Kathmandu a crime-free zone in the next couple of months,” said Sagar, who goes by only one name.
The rebels claim that police have ignored rising crime in the valley, including kidnapping and theft.
“The state and the police administration failed to fulfill its duty in maintaining security in the valley so we took the initiative to start our own operation. Also, requests were made by people to control the growing incidents of criminal activities,” Sagar told AFP.
The rebels do not intend to jail suspected criminals but plan to “investigate and keep them under our surveillance”, Sagar said.
The government has protested against the patrols.
“What the rebels are doing in the name of maintaining security in the valley is totally illegal. They must stop such activities immediately,” Baman Prasad Neupane, Nepal’s home ministry spokesman told AFP.
The police declined to comment on the rebels’ vigilante activities in Kathmandu.
The rebels and a multi-party government have observed a ceasefire in a decade-old conflict for almost six months, but human-rights activists have criticized the Maoists of continued violence, extortion and intimidation.
The rebels, who control large swathes of the countryside, moved to the capital after three weeks of pro-democracy protests in concert with the political parties forced King Gyanendra to end 14 months of direct rule in April.
In June, the government agreed to let the rebels join an interim government, but differences over arms management and the role of the monarchy have delayed the power-sharing deal to end fighting, which has claimed more than 12,500 lives since 1996.