Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
The missing guns?




KIRAN PANDAY

There were 30,852 Maoists registered in cantonments but only 3,428 weapons. And even among these, the number of automatic rifles is negligible. The security forces had told UNMIN that the Maoists had 3,430 of their weapons. The Maoists appear to have handed in just that number. In Butwal Prachanda said: "Some were washed away by rivers, others were reduced to ashes." The whole process as well as repeated Maoist warnings about resuming their revolution if elections can't be held by June cast doubts about their integrity. The Maoists have also been accused of keeping their battle-hardened guerrillas outside and filling up the camps with new recruits to whom they promised salaries and allowances. Along with the guerrillas, it looks like the Maoists have also kept their modern guns outside.

Of the weapons registered are 91 mortars, 61 machineguns, 61 sub-machineguns, 2,403 rifles, 212 shotguns, 253 other guns, 232 muskets, and 114 sidearms. The Maoists are allowed to use 524 of these weapons for the security of their camps and 70 for the security of top leaders.

According to a source, the Maoists have captured a total of 4,514 weapons from the army, armed police and civil police in the ten years of war. From the Nepal Police they got: 2,365 .303 rifles, 322 Magnums, 291 shotguns, 238 Hornet rifles, 319 Chinese pistols, 159 revolvers. From the armed police they captured 240 SLR, 24 LMG, 24 SMG, 4 two-inch mortars, four .303s, nine pistols, and one Chinese pistol. From the Nepal Army, they captured: 303 SLRs, 234 INSAS rifles, 113 LMGs, 15 81-mm mortars, five GPMGs, one Minimi, 590 SMGs, 11 SLW, two M209 grenade launchers, two Colt commandos, five Galils, 16 M-16s, one G-16 rifle, one Chinese sniper rifle, one Indian sniper rifle, and 25 pistols.

Maoist leader Nandakishore Pun says the numbers of registered weapons are low because some of the captured guns were useless, others were re-captured by the army during battles and some were take away by deserters. Besides these, the Maoists have also bought a large quantity of weapons in the Indian and Chinese markets, including the AK-47s and rocket launchers. For now the government has no option but to accept the Maoist figures for weapons because there is no proof either way.



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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