Bajura, September 23
Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal has been running an extortion racket in Bajura of late.
Sources revealed that the Chand-led group had sent letters to various government offices and traders in the district headquarters Martadi seeking donation. While the group handed its letter to a few in person, in other cases it dispatched such letters via post office.
A government office chief, on condition of anonymity, said he had received a letter undersigned by the group. In its letter, the group has identified traders, government employees and people’s representatives as those who have to pay donation compulsorily.
The group launched its extortion drive after the government decided to ban it.
According to a teacher, the group is extorting donations from teachers by reaching out to schools in the villages.
A ward chairperson, who refused to be identified, revealed that the group had sought one month salary from him. “They’ve asked us to help by handing over our one month salary, which amounts to 22,000 rupees; they have said they would come to collect the donation a few days later,” he said.
A health worker serving at a health facility in Tribeni Municipality said his health facility gave Rs 5,000 in donation. “They’ve fixed the donation amount, and won’t be satisfied until we oblige them,” said a trader.
Regarding the donation racket, Bajura District Police Office DSP Uddhavsingh Bhat said his office has learnt about the extortion racket run by the banned outfit. “We know they are collecting donation. Just a few days ago, we had arrested a cadre of the group with letters seeking donation,” said the DSP.
According to sources, the Chand-led group has expanded its organisation by dividing the district into seven zones. As per a local leader, some 147 of the total 537 former Maoist combatants from the district are now aligned with the Chand-led group.
A version of this article appears in print on September 24, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.