Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
Long march



Around 800 Maoist militia have penetrated several eastern districts from their stronghold in mid-western Nepal. They reached Tehrathum, Panchthar, Taplejung and Sankhuwasava nearly six months ago, while the government was engaged in peace talks with the rebels during the ceasefire period. The rebels in the eastern districts belonged originally to the seventh brigade stationed in western Nepal. They were ordered to move east to strengthen Maoist military presence there. "The Maoists in these areas were engaged in only organisational build-up, we thought they should be ready militarily too," says Birbahadur Shahi, a Maoist guerilla from Kalikot, now in the east.

The rebels said they travelled in eight reserved buses. Security forces spotted them when they reached Salleri in Dhankuta and they asked to step out of the vehicles while it was searched. The army found photographs of them carrying guns, yet let them leave. Since then, the rebels have dispersed throughout the east. Security forces in the east say they are aware of the infiltration, but refused to comment any further.

Since most of the Maoists come from Mangalsen, Dang, Jumla, Arghakhanchi, they've been having problems communicating with the local cadre. Meanwhile, the rebels in the east complain their comrades from the mid-west humiliate them. "They repeatedly say that we in the east are not ready to sacrifice our lives," said Indra Bahadur 'Sankat' Rai, chief of the 'peoples' government' at Pathibara. "They believe hundreds of us have to die to lay strong foundation for the party here."


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


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