Crackdowns eclipse prospect of talks

Published On: December 9, 2019 08:33 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Dec 9: The government is showing no sign of slow up in its clampdown on the Netra Bikram Chand’s Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) as the former rebel force continues to reject calls for unconditional surrender.

On Friday, a police team from the Metropolitan Crime Division (MCD) arrested Yam Kumar Giri, 37, a district committee member of the outfit, from Tinkune, Kathmandu. 

Giri, a resident of Jhapa, was arrested for his alleged involvement in planting a bomb at Jhapa-based Sahara Nepal Saving and Credit Limited.

“The police were searching for him since the bomb blast in September,” said MCD SP Sushil Singh Rathore. 

Police are now preparing to file a case against him. 

Giri’s arrest, the latest in the crackdown that started since the outfit was ‘outlawed’ in March, comes in wake of the underground outfit’s rejection of the Oli government’s repeated calls to sit for talks without preconditions.

Last month, Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Baskota had urged CPN leaders to stop violent activities and come to the talks process. CPN Coordinator Netra Bikram Chand had rejected the calls, questioning sincerity of the government to find amicable solution to the crisis. Chand has maintained that his outfit would sit for talks only if the government lifted the ban on its political activities, and release its jailed cadres.

More than 1,000 CPN cadres have been arrested since the security forces started arresting the outfit’s cadres in March, according to the outfit.

So far, the crackdown has proven highly successful in reining in the outfit, but not many including some in the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) government appear convinced that  the problem could be resolved only through the use of force. Realizing this, the government has been quietly reaching out to the party to find solutions through dialogue. 

“Dialogue is the only way forward. Both sides understand this,” NCP leader Som Prasad Pandey, an interlocutor working to create environment for talks, told Republica in a recent interview. 

The government is also under pressure from the opposition parties, civil society and rights activists to resolve the issue in peaceful manner. 

CPN leadership is under equal pressure to accept the talks as the party gradually falls apart amid widespread arrest of its leaders and increased scrutiny of its activities.

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