Discharged ones still clinging to politics

ROLPA: Most combatants who left Maoist camps here for not qualifying in the UNMIN’s verification process said they would not be involved in ordinary household businesses.

“I won’t stay home rearing chicken, cattle and pigs. I will very much be involved in politics and will fight for the people’s welfare in future if need be,’’ said Saral, who had to quit the Maoist People’s Liberation Army after seven years of affiliation as a minor. Comrade ‘Saral’ is now Birbal Roka Magar. “I’ll take up a role as instructed by the party.”

Sharmila Budhathoki, another disqualified, a resident of Silbang-4 in Salyan,

ruled out her future involvement in a kind of business. ‘’I would not have joined the Maoist movement, if I had been interested in a business other than politics,” she told this correspondent.

“The government is trying to get us into a business as such, against our interest.” She regretted that the leaders had neglected the combatants’ contribution. “We left the cantonment as per the party direction,” the former combatant said. “We can use our skills of handling arms and ammunition if there is a need.’’

The disqualified combatants are not much interested in the rehabilitation package prepared by the government. Most of them say they cannot go back to school after years of discontinuation. What is worse, they do not see their rehabilitation in the society an easy task — they will have nostalgic memories of their time in the Maoist camps.