Kapilvastu locals unite against Maoists

Kapilvastu, September 20:

Peace talks between the government and the Maoists are underway, but locals in the western part of Kapilvastu have formed an anti-Maoist front.

The area was tense yesterday after locals barred armed Maoist cadres from carrying out programmes or staying there, said Lieutenant Avaynath Pande in the Ganeshpur security base camp.

An eyewitness Ram Prakat Chaudhari of Patardeiya VDC-2, Bhayanari, said: “At first, 15 Maoists came. They entered locals’ houses asking them to provide lodging and food. The bulk of the Maoists were on the bank of Bhayanari river. A dispute cropped up when locals refused.” Former VDC chairman Ram Sanahi Chaudhari said: “We will retaliate if they trouble us anymore.”

Yesterday, the Maoists fired shots in the air to terrify the people, locals said. Maoist district secretary Sanjib said the resistance group has encouraged locals to go against the Maoists. Earlier also, there was a Maoist retaliation group. Casualties had occurred when the Maoists and the retaliation group clashed in February/March 2005.

Meanwhile, a team of rights activists and journalists, including chief of the Butwal-based National Human Rights Commission office, Thakur Chapagain, returned to Taulihawa after receiving information regarding the issue.