Maoist Madness After Victory

As the vote counting was going on Maoit’s YCL cadres were stopping people at different places and searching their bodies, bags and wallets. Some Nepali Congress cadres were complaining that their money and mobile phones were confiscated. Maoists were searching for NC cadres and beating whoever they found.

By Damodar Neupane in Gorkha
Diary of a reporter

Nepali Congress activist beaten up

Many people might be curious to know how the election was conducted in the district where Maoist leader Dr. Baburam Bhattarai won by the margin of more than 40 thousand votes. As soon as the voting ended in April 10 Nepali Congress and CPN UML complained to the Election Commission about voting irregularities. They refused to take part in the vote counting and because of that the counting was delayed by a day. Since representatives from other parties didn’t come, the counting began in the presence of the representatives from the Maoist and Janamorcha (Peoples’ Front). I reported about that live on Kantipur TV at 10 AM in April 11. Within hours Maoist cadre Amrit Upadhayay came to me and started debating over the report. As I was thinking there was no use in debating with them, my cell phone rang. I excused myself.

Within less than an hour, Maoist cadres forcibly took out Ramesh Bastakoti, a Nepali Congress candidate who was going to Kathmandu, from a microbus and started beating. Police intervened and took him away. In a few minutes Maoist cadres started beating another NC activist Chitra Bhatta. Police took him to hospital. They fled the hospital feeling insecure, I knew later, and were hiding in a bamboo bush near the local stadium. Maoist cadres found them and started beating again. We were taking photos of that. At that instant, Maoists started manhandling reporter Bhimlal Shrestha. They were ordering us what to shoot and what not to. We left because we felt insecure. After they beat Bhatta and Bastakoti almost near to death, Maoists handed them to the police.

Vote counting started in the night. We stayed there for whole night. The Maoist was winning by huge margin in both number 1 and number 2 constituencies. Maoist was ahead in poll results all over the country. Some Maoist cadres who were standing outside started to become arrogant about their unexpected victory. They beat up NC activist Phanindra Dhital who was in his home.

The counting was going on. As the noise outside increased the Chief District Officer Jeevan Oli, Deputy Superintendent of Police Gita Uprieti and I were going towards the noise. Lawyer Mohan Pokharel suddenly came out of the crowd. “Save me,” he was screaming. Maoist cadres were attacking him saying that they would take revenge of the ‘blood of our 13 thousand martyrs’. He was going to Kathmandu and Maoist cadres had followed his microbus up to 13 kilometers saying that he was ‘suspicious’ they needed to ‘investigate’ him. He was severely beaten up by the Maoist’s YCL cadres. “Damodar ji they beat me,” he was telling me. “Could this be done just because I voted a different political party? Can’t a person with an opinion different [than that of the Maoist] live? Thanks to the police who were near and I was saved.”

We were outside the vote counting station. A colleague called me. “Sir, you don’t come outside.” I didn’t ask a question. A few minutes later I heard a threat in my phone: “Now journalist’s turn.” The atmosphere was tense. The YCL activists who had spread around the villages during the election had come to the district headquarter. They were armed with sticks and iron rods. We were feeling very insecure. I called Kishore Jung Thapa, president of the Gorkha district branch of the Federation of Nepali Journalists. He also said that the situation was very tense.

He also said that he had talked to FNJ president Bishnu Nishturi. Nishturi had assured him that he himself would come to Gorkha should there be any problem. YCL cadres were stopping people at different places and searching their bodies, bags and wallets. Some Nepali Congress cadres were complaining that their money and mobile phones were confiscated. Maoists were searching for NC cadres and beating whoever they found. Some groups belonging to NC and UML had gone underground. I wasn’t in a position to write news about the development. Other journalist friends also felt insecure and we all decided not to write anything. Police wasn’t in a position to control the YCL crowd. NC activists were beaten up in front of the police. It seemed like there was no presence of the state.

Meanwhile threats were coming in one after another. I didn’t publicize the problem immediately thinking partly that they could be solved in couple of hours. I thought for a long. There was no way that I could get out of the circle created by the Maoists. I talked to the regional bureau in Pokhara, central district bureau in Kathmandu of Kantipur Publications and also to Kantipur TV. They told me to be safe. Colleagues went to their homes in the evening. I stayed there. I told Maoist lawmaker Parashuram Ramtel about the circumstances. He assured me that nothign would happen to journalist. I also reminded him of the reporting that I had done until then. He said that I was free to write and report the facts.

Maoist distirct in charge Krishna Dhital and Secretary Chudamani Khadka also said that such was not the party policy. They also said that there might be infeltration of those elements who are willing to beat journalists. That statement made us even more suspicious. That meant in the event of attacks the Maoist wouldn’t take responsibility.

I had to face Maoist threat as the election campaign started. Maoists had prevented NC candidates Chiranjivi Wagle and Chinkaji Shresta from going to many villages. They had thrown boulders in Ashrang village targetting a bus that was carrying journalists, candidates and human rights activists. When we wrote news about such incidents Maoists used to complain that we were anti-Maoist. They used to humiliate us in various ways saying that media was working to defeat them in the polls. They had mobilized their cadres in the village against journalists. Maoist district secretary Chudamani used to say even before the poll campaigns that “since Kantipur was a capitalist newspaper there battle from now onwards would be against Kantipur.” He used to indirectly threaten me that I was “a good person so he had no complain again” me but with the newspaper that I was working for. There is a long list of Maoist cadres manhandling but we had taken them as a temporary arrogance.

I have always followed Maoist programs and reported their events be that Dr Bhattarai’s door to door campaign or other campaign-related events. I had tried my best to write balanced and impartial news. But Maoists take any news as the one against them.

The situation was tense until three days after the vote. Amrit Upadhayay was mainly responsible to create such situation. I am not sure about his exact responsibility in the Maoist party but he was my classmate in the college. After finishing BA, I joined MA and he went underground. He used to complain about my ‘anti-Maoist news’ in our occasional meetings. The same guy was heating the mass by passing negative comments on news filed by me.

I continued reporting despite the fact that I wasn’t able to use my laptop and Maoists continued beating up NC cadres. News came in that some of the NC cadres were airlifted by a chopper.

Maoist leader Dr. Bhattarai won my huge margin. All three constituencies went to the Maoist. A victory rally was slated for Baishak 3. We heard that Maoists would chase away reporters who want to pariticpate in the rally like dogs. We requested the Maoist leadership to create an atmosphere in which we could attend the rally and cover it. Maoist Secretary Khadka said that we would have to walk inside the YCL security ring. We went to the rally and left a few minutes before it ended fearing that it uncontrolled people would turn violently against us.

After a few days of no activities of the Maoist we thought normalcy had returned. We went to Manakamana along with CDO, DSP and polling officer. After we returned to the headquarter Maoists started giving mental torture. “We will analyze what a reporter has written until now,” they told, according to a colleague. District-level leaders have gone to village but their cadres who were in the headquarters didn’t stop spreading rumors to intimidate us. The final results of the proportional election had also come. I decided to escape from this torture and go home for a few days. I don’t know what information they received; Police came today and drove me to my home in Kathmandu.

Damodar is a reporter with Kantipur Publications and Kantipur TV. This article appeared in today’s Kantipur. Translated by UWB.



31 responses to “Maoist Madness After Victory”

  1. namaste Avatar

    Half the people wanted fair representation, half there has been intimidation. Remember who started the army I remember, for three years in 2002 around that time I stopped going to Nepal because I used to be left sympathizer and I could not deal with the guns peoples.
    And they see and I got scared.
    Tension was produced on both sides I am talking 15 years of gradual shift and oppression from oppressor.
    Do not judge and do not be judged we all must learn from China how sad a great economic power is only fascist and jails and kills for no reason yet the whole world respects the power of materialism and it has nothing to do with humanistic values anymore. In reality the chinese people are buddhist, that used to be their good roots.
    The only chance for democracy is process now.
    What the press did most years was denying and shutting up reality because the maosts were shot remember? Go open the mass graves and ask them what they voted.
    But it is only possible when citizens keep cooperating, don’t retaliate. You still will have the police, and so on in the bus and they still must catch the thief be it a muslim or capitalist thief. Fanatic hindus return to India.
    Culture of fear must be overcome all are from the same source all used to believe in HIS majesty and now they believe in multiparty system?
    Once I visited a theravada stupa in Kirtipur and my brother said this is maoist area, I looked around and it was clear. So who sees sees and we all see and have seen. Do not blame past hierarchy for thinking they did the right thing and do not blame actual rulers for their way of things. How to stop the violence is by mutual dialogue, continuous dialogue, over many many years. Surely we will not vote for them again if they behave like Pol pot today. At the same time years of repression have ways of getting out, strange ways. And behind it may well be another problem. There are no maobadi or NC there are people with views. Mistaken and right views. All have a right to cooexist. With mutual RESPECT.
    Not because a reporter writes that he will only eat chinese food he is not a buddhist. Or all muslims are killers. Differentiate. In Europe we have a similare process, ideologies fail the only thing that works is a good sense of humor and RELATIVIZATION.
    from Einstein. We are interconnected. Somebody steals my money tomorrow I cannot pay salary. Or kill my brother I am unhappy. Or steal my gasoline I can not go to my office. Have a nice day.

  2. scoop Avatar

    What to say,

    As the days pass I have one sentence for all of you who have claimed that maoists are being “mainstreaned” and “democratised” but on the contrary you all have legitimised them and will be indoctrined instead – I TOLD YOU SO!

  3. Jay Nepal Avatar
    Jay Nepal

    Its high time Maoists change their beaviour. People votem them
    in want of peace. This is the bottom line which they have to understand.

  4. scoop Avatar

    You know what, I remember vividly media smugly reporting maoist beatings and paradings of “royalists” after the andolan (even of an elderly man who went to greet the King on his birthday). Especially media like KANTIPUR who had a personal hatred for the King for clamping down on them during the royal regime. A personal hatred for the person leading to the rabid support of the maoist agenda for the destruction of an institution and legitamisation of the maoist dictatorship. Ledgitamisation of murder to gain political power.
    Now IT”S YOUR TURN (political partues and media). Enjoy the ride.

  5. scoop Avatar

    Yes, people wanted peace and were held hostage therefore the vote for the maos, but the maos want a dictatorship. What a country? Somewhere in some other stream a person said we are pathetic for allowing the mistreatment of Tibetan refugees – he is abosolutely correct. We only want this and that without caring for the implications. Our attitude towards tibetan guests here shows that we are a real pathetic bunch – many voted for the maos to get quick peace and instead shall get quick justice – oh yes maoist justice.

  6. dandylion Avatar

    Bittersweet. The people won but they did not win what they wanted to win.
    Go complain in custumer service department.
    The indian maoists loooove the nepalese maoists.
    But we did not say that.
    God bless the king who went peacefully and we let him do his businesses where he likes. And nothing will ever be the same again.
    No need to leave the country it is a nice place to be, blame yourself.

  7. Roger Avatar

    Soon we will descend into a dictatorship of another type – and there will only be one person laughing named Prachanda. He clearly has no intention of dismantling YCL or even condoning violence when it suits him. And Napalis need to have the courage to make their voice heard – not just vote in fear.

  8. pukar thapa Avatar
    pukar thapa

    im confused about, what maoist will gonna do to their whole YCL comrades as now they have won the election. which could be the best way for them to settle down their all of those civilians who m they had used as a weapon ij the past and become one of the controvarcial part of the nepalese politics?
    maoist creat them so i am just curious about, is their any way to give a right path to the flame which they had started and now have burnt all over nepal?

  9. CafeDeNepal Avatar

    Its sad to hear such news..

  10. aAkaR Avatar

    They should be changed……… no-one will accept these stuffs.

  11. Sahani Avatar

    We need to have another Gaur incident to tame these maoist criminals. We chased them away from terai

  12. United voices Avatar

    This has to be stopped. Now that they are going to be the main political party, they have to be the leader and show the path to other rather than doing making a negative image of themselves.

  13. anonymous Avatar

    we can guess how the maoists won in the remote parts of nepal… if they can do things like this in public just imagine what they do behing the eyes of the media.

  14. Krishna Avatar

    Maosists are in fact a misfit in a true democracy. In India the West Bengal and Kerala are two good example. Their form of Democracy is “of the Red,by the Red and for the Red”. Once they enter the democratic institutions they subvert the system . For example in West Bengal there is said to be 8 crore voters in the voters list as against actual half the number. They belive in bullets and not ballot and ballot is dictated as per bullets.It is irony that Nepal has jumped from a frying pan to burning fire – politically.

  15. KingCobra Avatar

    I am just watching how long Puspa kamal Dahal and his deputy Baburam can overboil before they are forced to spill from the pot they are overboiling in.

  16. scoop Avatar

    thanks for the link now if only all the useful idiots that i have been trying to tell to wake up and smell the coffee do it. They have given enough benefit of doubt, now the buck should stop. LIsten, they only have 30% peoples manadate by hook or by crook, meaning 70% are not for them. They will only end up with 45% seats, so the others shoud never allow PLA integration into NA otherwise the game is up. They will use the new PLA to supress us all – no federal this and that, no decentralisation, no democracy. Time to wake up people.

  17. madhesi Avatar

    The YCL person who is seen on this blog manhandling NC cadre is in our hit list, and he will be executed if captured in terai. we have already identify who he is.

  18. pra_akash Avatar

    good work ,
    now you people have the state and government….
    so,scold them,
    thrash them,
    beat them,
    hack them,
    intimidate them,
    do whatever you would like to do them,
    kill them!!!!!!!!!????????!!!
    this is a kind of work a lot of people are trying to see form you people especially the oppositions .if these people are really the MAOISTS, they haven’t learned from chinia sanskritik kranti.
    NB: either you change yourself or the PEOPLE will change you.

  19. poor Avatar

    Frigign uneducated hordes and bastards..the people won?????…u fuckin blind moron! its the egocentric bloody hypotcritic leaders who won, the people didnt win shit, all they won was their stupid daily bread during the so called revolution and a chance to take part in something they never understood in..but they felt important to be a part of it..just like mice in an experiment..

  20. Prashant Avatar

    It’s a sad news. This should stop.

  21. the burningman Avatar

    Considering Kantipur is a partisan news agency, this is all just the wallowing of the urban elite at not having the poor line up to be governed by them.

    Intellecutals and the urban middle classes have to learn that the world is not your entitlement. Congress party leaders have servants and think this is their right. Get over it. You aren’t in charge anymore. You have a place in the society, like others – but learning that you are no longer in charge as a birthright is a lesson that seems harder for some to learn than others.

    It’s time for you to join with the Maoists in creating a society that serves the people instead of lives off them in corruption.

  22. bege Avatar

    I think the Maoist is good for the Nepalese people. The media in Kathmandu is biased against all poor peoples.

  23. bISHNU SHRESTHA Avatar

    If this is how Maoist start New Nepal, I would be happy to trade New Nepal for Old Nepal. I do not know about others, but I can tell you about me, life and feeling of security is more important than so called ´Loktantra´

  24. jiban Avatar

    I think this article is more biased than usual . this is called in Nepali Ukhan” haruwa goruko chhetuwa dau I think if there is some missmanagement in the election then this is countable .

  25. seimpre Avatar

    UWB please improve your english ….. it is sometimes difficult to make sense what you are trying to say….. As for most of you Kathmandu based priveleged scum bugs maoist victory was a big kick in your ass…… So I can understand your disappointment. Fear of losing privelege is a pausible fear…. best of luck.

  26. UWB Avatar

    Seimpre, could you please volunteer to edit the story and help us improve the language? Why not practice instead of preaching? After all, we are also volunteering and providing information to people like for free. What do you say?

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