Blast victims thrash Maoists

Chitwan, May 25 :

Five Maoist cadres, who had gone to the Kalyanpur Bazaar of Ayodhyapuri to seek forgiveness from the victims of the Bandermudhe incident and to campaign for the Maoists’ June 2 programme, to be held in the capital, were beaten up last Saturday.

It may be noted that 38 bus passengers were killed and many injured when a land mine planted by the Maoists went off in Chitwan on June 5 last year. Locals and injured victims of the incident thrashed the Maoist cadres and detained two of them for three hours. Krishna Adhikari, who was injured in the blast, said the detained Maoist cadres were released on the condition that they would inform the party’s central committee about the victims’ nine-point demand.

Admitting their mistake and seeking forgiveness, the Maoists had entered the village.

According to Sudip Neure, a local, an argument ensued between the Maoists and the locals as the former began pasting campaign posters at the house of Samar Bahadur Shrestha. Krishna Adhikari, a victim of the incident, hit the Maoists with his crutch. While three Maoists fled, the locals captured two Maoists — Ramesh Poudel and Dandapani Poudel ‘Hikmat’ — and detained them for three hours. Adhikari said they released the two after Ramesh fell ill.

The victims and locals have called on the Maoists to make public the name of those responsible in the Bandermudhe incident, provide compensation to the families of the victims and bear half the money that will be needed in building a memorial.

Saying they had gone there to campaign for their June 2 programme and seek forgiveness from villagers, Maoist cadre Ramesh said they did not retaliate.

Ramesh said he had disclosed the villagers the name of two Maoists involved in the Bandermudhe incident.

Stating that the party has admitted its mistake in the incident a number of times, Maoist Chitwan district secretary Avinash said the party cadres will now visit the area only with human rights activists and journalists.