Maoists return looted arms, shield looters

Nuwakot, August 12:

The Maoists today returned the arms looted from the Fikuri police post to the police. However, they did not hand over the cadres involved in the looting.

At a press conference held at the district headquarters today, a member of parliament and the Maoists’ regional bureau member Heet Bahadur Tamang said that the looted weapons were handed over by a central member of the YCL, Bigyan, to the police in presence of local administration.

Earlier, the Maoists had said one Raj Kumar Regmi “Sandesh” and others involved in the looting were arrested yesterday and will be handed over to the district administration today office for legal action. A group led by Regmi, who is also the party’s district committee member, had looted all the weapons from the police post on Thursday. District superintendent of police at the district police office Dhiraj Pratap Singh said all the looted weapons were returned.

Heet Bahadur Tamang said the group led by “Sandesh” was not handed over to the police in accordance with the direction of his party’s central committee. “An understanding was reached between our party’s central leadership and government in this regard,” he claimed.

Chief district officer Bhanubhakta Pokharel said he was not aware of any such understanding and a search is on for the culprits. MP Tamang said Sandesh surrendered before the YCL after the YCL cadres gheraoed them yesterday, adding that an investigation is on.

A statement issued by district in-charge of the Maoists Kumar Dahal “Bijay” said that Sandesh and some other persons were discharged of their duties and that an investigation is on. The Maoists have not disclosed from where Sandesh and the others were held. “Do not ask this question,” Tamang said.

Sandesh had told media persons after looting the weapons that they have rebelled against the party. Contact with him could not be made as his mobile phone was switched off since this morning. The Maoists had said that Sandesh was ready for talks with the leadership if the teams of civilian police and armed police forces, who were dispatched to Fikuri for conducting a search, were called back.