NEPALGUNJ, March 24: Leaders and cadres of Netra Bikram Chand-led Nepal Communist Party, who has been campaigning for ‘unified people’s revolution’, have gone underground following the government’s instruction to arrest them on sight or shoot below the knees.
The party members from Kalikot, Rukum and Rolpa have gone underground to avoid confrontation with law enforcement agencies. Until a few weeks ago, they used to be seen openly in the district headquarters. But, they have not made their presence in public places in the wake of the government crackdown.
“We left the district headquarters after the government banned us,” confirmed Chandra Bahadur Budha, the party’s secretary in Rukum (west). “But we are still in touch with local communities as a part of our gaun jagaran campaign.”
He was also quick to criticize the government’s move stating that it was a result of their ‘poor mentality’. He added that the ban will fail and they will return.
“We were just preaching the idea of revolution among the households and were not involved in heinous crimes such as violence and rape. The government wishes to start a conflict by using security forces against us,” Budha added.
Residents living in Chand’s area of influence also expressed disappointment with the government’s move. They argued that the group has the rights to carry out political activities in a peaceful manner and viewed the government’s ban as a move to push the country to yet another conflict.
“Instead of the ban on Biplav’s activities, the government should have pushed for political agreement with them so that it’ll benefit everyone involved,” said Shyam Lal Budha of Rolpa.
The district’s residents urged everyone to remember that the past conflict delayed infrastructure development which pushed the area backward. They said another conflict would have the same consequences.
So far, security personnel have arrested more than 130 people affiliated to the party including its high-ranking leader Hemanta Prakash Oli (Sudarshan).