Maoist soldiers shift from local houses to camps

Surkhet, January 1:

Soldiers of the Maoists’ People’s Liberation Army (PLA) who were sheltering in the houses of villagers have moved into the main cantonment and sub-camps.

PLA personnel, after the Comprehensive National Peace Treaty between the government and the Maoists, were sheltering in the houses of locals in the adjoining areas. As per the agreement to establish a main camp and three sub-camps in Surkhet, sites chosen were Dasharathpur, Lekhpharsa, Gumi and Gamkhola in the district. Some 6,000 PLA personnel were staying in the houses of locals for the last one month.

Now, PLA personnel are staying in huts in the main camp at Dasharathpur. “Some 200 huts have been erected in the Dasharathpur camp,” PLA sixth division commander Prateek said, adding that the PLA personnel have started staying in the camp though there is lack of physical infrastructure.

PLA personnel have also started staying in the sub-camps at Lekhpharsa, Gumi and Gamkhola, Prateek said. Aside from shortage of drinking water and non-supply of electricity, there is the lack of link roads and other facilities in the sub-camps, he added.

“The camps will be managed better after the UN team starts verification of weapons,” said Prateek, adding, “The UN team is arriving at the camp this week.”

Locals said their difficulty lessened after PLA personnel started to live inside the camps.

A Dasharathpur local, Dil Bahadur Khatri, said, “We have heaved a sigh of relief after the Maoist army shifted to the camp.” Another local Amar Poudel said, “We had been facing difficulties as Maoists used to shelter in our houses in groups. Now our worries are over.”