YCL men’s murder: Marchbar still tense

Bhairahawa, June 14:

Tension still grips Gonaha VDC in Rupandehi’s Marchbar area after the central member of

the Young Communist League (YCL), Binod Pant “Jitendra”, and Rupandeshi district secretariat member Sheshmani Lamichhane “Mani” were killed yesterday.

Some 40 households of Gonaha VDC-2’s Shivapur have either gone to relatives’ homes or to India fearing a chain of reprisals. Most of the schools were closed today in the area, including those in Gonaha VDC.

“What happened was unexpected,” former chairman of Gonaha VDC Rupnarayan Chaudhary said, “People in this area were not able to sleep the whole night.”

Jitendra and Mani were on their way to a programme organised by the Maoists’ Republican Front when they were abducted and killed.

Chairman of the Gonaha-based Gayargatti lower secondary school management committee, Harichandra Singh, said the murders were largely due to the slackness on part of the police administration. “The situation is unpredictable in Marchbar area,” Singh said. “The group responsible for murders has fled to India,” he added.

A large number of armed police force and civilian police personnel led by deputy superintendent of police Surendra Singh has been deployed in the area since yesterday.

Singh said police have arrested 11 students from Gonaha VDC. The arrest of innocent students is an attempt to hush things up as the real murderers have fled to India, he added. The arrests have sparked terror among locals, he said.

Superintendent of police at the district police office, Rupandehi, Rabiraj Shrestha, said the students were arrested for interrogation. The Maoists expanded their activities in Marchbar area during the 11-year old insurgency in which they also killed big landlords and detonated bombs at their homes.

However, after the 19-day Jana Andolan-II the Maoists there began clashing with Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum cadres, who were also busy expanding their own party’s network.

YCL today staged a demonstration and meeting to pay tributes to the two cadres in Bhairahawa. YCL cadres blocked traffic for an hour at Buddha Chowk on Siddhartha Highway where they organised a condolence meeting.

The Janatantrik Tarai Mukti Morcha-Goit (JTMM-G) today claimed responsibility for the killings. In telephone calls to the media, JTMM-G central member Azad claimed the responsibility.