Maoists still recruiting youths in PLA

Siraha, December 16 :

The Maoists are still found to be recruiting locals of Siraha district in the People’s Liberation Army by promising them handsome monthly salaries.

This action by the Maoists comes in violation of the peace agreement they reached with the government. The Maoists themselves say that there is no order to recruit new PLA soldiers but they have started recruiting dozens of unemployed youths from the Siraha district in the PLA.

Maoists have taken Suresh Yadav, 16, son of Garbhu Yadav from Siraha-8 and five other youths — Prameshwori Sada, 14, Ram Kumar Sada, 14, Rekha Kumari Sada, 13, Sabita Sada, 15 and Rajendra Sada, 15, — from Arnama VDC to recruit them in the PLA.

Ram Kumar’s guardian Panchu said: “The Maoists on Friday took more than 10 persons from my area to recruit them in the PLA, promising them a monthly salary.” Panchu has reached the district headquarters to urge journalists and rights activists to arrange for Ram Kumar’s release. He said: “Ram Kumar is the only son. After the Maoists took him, his mother is restless and weeping. I went to the Maoists’ party office seeking his release, but in vain.”

One Pappu Yadav (15) of Naraha Balkawa, who is a PLA soldier in the Dudhauli-based Maoist base camp in Sindhuli district, told this daily over telephone yesterday that five youths of the same area had come to join the PLA there. He added they have joined PLA on the condition that they will be provided Rs 3,600 monthly and rations worth Rs 1,400 per month.

One Umesh Yadav, 18, of Muksar VDC, who had joined the PLA hoping to receive Rs 7000 monthly after completing the training, has returned home. Umesh said: “I joined the PLA

but I got only Rs 500 as a month’s salary. I left the camp as I was not given the promised salary. Besides, the training was tough.”

Maoist cadres have taken dozens of youths from Chikana, Bhediya, Silorba, Pachhabari, Mahadeva Potarha, Sitapur, Bhadaiya Anarma, among other VDCs of Siraha and Udaypur districts to the Dudhauli-based Maoist camp within the last one week, locals said.

Maoist Siraha secretary Avinash said the party would not prevent those wishing to join the PLA voluntarily. He said the Maoists have recruited youths only over 20 years old in the PLA.