Armed groups unleash terror ahead of new fiscal

MAHOTTARI: As the new fiscal nears, armed groups have unleashed a reign of terror in VDCs across the district, issuing extortion threats. They have even threatened some VDC secretaries with life for not giving in to their demands.

Of the 76 VDC secretaries in the district, 55 have been staying in the district headquarters due to the threat. Members of some half-a-dozen armed outfits, which are active in the Tarai, have demanded hefty donations. According to the Shivraj Pandeya, president, VDC Rights Protection Centre, Mahottari, the outfits began the donation drive after

the budget was disbursed through consumers’ groups.

The armed outfits include the Tarai Mukti Morcha (Jwala Singh), the All Tarai Mukti Morcha (Goit), the Janatantrik Tarai Mukti Morcha, the Janatantrik Tarai Mukti Morcha (Rajan Mukti), the Madhesi Virus Killers, the Samyukta Janatantrik Tarai and the Mukti Morcha (Pawan) among others. “We are in a dilemma whether to proceed with development work or to dole out donations to these outfits,” Pandeya said.

“Though the armed outfits’ members are held, they are often set free following

orders from the central leaders.”

Rajesh Kumar Sharma, central member, VDC Secretary Protection Centre, revealed that the VDC secretaries had to resolve the problems on their own because of the feeble security mechanism.

Sagarmani Parajuli, Chief District Officer, however, said that security bodies had been directed to immediately arrest those involved in the extortion drive. The VDC secretaries expressed doubt about the authorities’ assurance. Allaudin Ansari, VDC secretary, and a district forest ranger were murdered in the district some time ago. Meanwhile, this year’s budget is likely to be frozen as village council in some 35 VDCs could not be held for various reasons.