Tripartite team inspects Maoist camp site in Ilam

Kathmandu/Damak, November 11:

A government minister, UN representatives and Maoist military commanders today visited Kamal Binayek bazaar of Ilam district to inspect a proposed cantonment area where one of the seven divisions of the Maoist’s People Liberation Army would be confined till constituent assembly election.

As decided by a tripartite meeting at Himalaya Hotel yesterday, the government minister, officials from Home Ministry, Nepali Army, Janpad Police and Armed Police Force, UN representatives and Maoist commanders flew to Ilam’s Chula Chuli Village Development Committee to survey the proposed location for a Maoist camp.

Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture Pradip Gyawali, joint secretary at the Home Ministry Durga Nath Sharma, AIG of Janapath Police Amar Singh Shah, AIG of Armed Police Force Kishor Lama, Major General Amar Pant and Brigadier General Shiva Raj Pradhan of Nepali Army were among those visiting the area.

Personal representative of secretary general of UN, Ian Martin, UN military advisor Jan Eric Wilheim and two other UN officials, Maoist’s deputy-commander Nanda Kishor Pun (Pasang), Maoist’s deputy commander of the eastern division Chandra Prasad Neupane aka Baldev, comrades Rajesh, Prabhana, Rupak and Bibidh were also present during the inspection of the camp site near Kamal Binayek bazaar. Maoist deputy commander Barshaman Pun aka Ananta told this daily that the joint inspection team found the area appropriate for the Maoist camp. The team also discussed three other sub-camps proposed by the Maoists in Raja Rani of Dhankuta, Tandi of Morang and Sunamai of Ilam districts.

Minister Gyawali, however, said that the UN team has asked the Maoist side to reconsider the proposed three sites for sub-camps, as they are too far from the main cantonment in Chula Chuli.

Gyawali said the proposed three sites for the sub-camps would be relocated on the basis of mutual understanding. The joint team reached Ilam’s Kamal bazaar at noon where they spent around two hours talking to the locals and Maoist commanders. The team returned to Kathmandu today.

A report from Damak said commissar of the Biplab Sirjan Memorial Brigade, Sudarshan, briefed the team about the topography of the area. The sub-camps at Sankhejung, Siddhithumka and Phikkal can be kept there, said Sudarshan.

Sources said that the local administration and the Maoist district leadership were not informed in advance of the inspection by the team. A report from Kavre said the Maoists have proposed setting up a main camp in Kamidanda (Kavre). The Jana Mukti Sena soldiers along with their weapons are being sent to the third division of the Jana Mukti Sena at Kamidanda, said division commander Bibidh.