Chand-led Maoists step up extortion drive

Published On: February 15, 2017 12:10 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Feb 15: As part of asserting its organizational presence, the Netra Bikram Chand-led splinter faction of the then CPN (Maoist) has intensified its extortion drive from businesspersons and institutions both within Kathmandu Valley and beyond, creating terror among them.  

Businesspersons, who were subjected to demands for hefty donations, complained that the amounts demanded by the Maoists range from a few hundred  thousand rupees to millions. 'We are living under constant fear of the possible eventualities as we are not in a position to pay such hefty amounts in the name of donations,” said one businessperson on condition of anonymity. 

Not just businessperson, the Chand-led Maoists have extended their extortion drive to various institutions also. The party has fanned out in groups in and outside the Valley to seek donations in the name of expanding its organizational presence.  

A group of party cadres recently visited the office of the Pashupati Area Development Trust and demanded money from Member Secretary Govinda Tandon as donation. 

“They came to me and said the PADT must provide money to the party,” Tandon said, adding that they did not mention  any specific amount. 

“But I made it clear to them that we cannot provide any money,” he added.  

President of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Pashupati Murarka admitted that the extortion drive by the Chand-led party  has created a donotation terror among the business community. “Business is slow of late and the Maoist party and other groups are visiting businessmen and demanding hefty donations. We don't know how to tackle the situation,” he added. 

He said some of the businessmen have been complained to him that the Maoist party and other groups have been dropping letters demanding hefty sums as donations. He also said that the victims  do not want to go to the police as they have little confident the police would be able to take any action against them. 

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