Retaliatory committee destroys weapons

Nawalparasi, November 24:

Some weapons used by locals to retaliate against the Maoists were destroyed today.

Under the patronage of the administration, the Maoist Retaliation Committee was active in the southern parts of the district.

Following an agreement between the retaliation committee and the CPN (Maoist), nine guns owned by the former were burnt this afternoon amid a public function at Guthi Prasauni VDC. The move was initiatiated by the acting director of the regional office the National Human Rights Commission, Pokhara, Achyut Acharya.

The function was attended by human rights activists, representatives of political parties and media persons.

The retaliation committee was formed with help from the district administration office on December 25, 2004. Since then, 18 members of the committee were killed, while they managed to shoot dead one Maoist.

The committee was active in 16 VDCs in the southern parts. Around 400 persons joined the committee under Munna Khan and Murari Pahalman in Paklihawa. Today’s programme was also attended by the Maoist district secretary Chinak Kurmi. Addressing the function Khan announced that the committee was officially dissolved and that both the parties would be friends in the future.

A total of 238 weapons owned by the committee have been sealed by the administration, he said. He also said that out of the cache of arms owned by the committee, 39 guns were handed over to the administration, while the Maoists took away 60. The rest of the weapons were taken by members of the committee, who fled to India fearing the Maoists, he said.

The weapons were destroyed as Maoists did not want to pass them over to the government, Acharya said.

Chief District Officer Govinda Khanal said the administration was not informed of today’s function. He said destroying the weapons was illegal.