Maoists, staffers plunder peace office

DHANKUTA: Activists of UCPN-Maoist seized all documents and gadgets from the local office of Peace Committee here in Dhankuta today.

They barged into the office, which is under the Ministry for Peace and Reconstruction and took various office documents and equipment such as computers, fax machines. Staffers of the office Sharmila Rai, Manju Rai and secretary of the office Aitamaya Chemjong, were also involved in the incident.

Later, Chemjong confessed her involved and promised with CDO Kali Prasad Parajuli that she would return all the goods tomorrow. CDO Parajuli said that the office staffers did not get salary for four months.

Eyewitnesses said Agni Dahal, the central member of the All Nepal National Independent Students Union (Revolutionary) - the Maoists' student wing - and other district level leaders were involved in the raid.

However, he denied his involvement. "It's the accusation of the rival parties to harass us morally.''

Dhankuta in-charge the Maoists Thamansingh Rai claimed that the incident came as a protest by the staffers for their rights. He also claimed the staffers had taken the gadgets as they had not got salary for a long time. He, however, denied the involvement of his comrades in the incident.

Meanwhile, local leaders of various political parties condemned the incident. District chairman of CPN-UML Rajendra Rai said that the incident showed the lack of conscience of the Maoists. District president of Nepali Congress Manohar Narayan Shrestha said that it was wrong to take the goods of the government offices by the cadres of the party that had been talking about people's supremacy.