Locals in cradle of Maoist insurgency say NO to conflict

Published On: March 17, 2019 08:25 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

(ROLPA, SURKHET, DANG) MARCH 17: Rolpa locals are uneasy these days about the activities of the Biplav outfit. They do not feel the presence of peace . They have not forgotten the harrowing times of the Maoist armed insurgency.

“Another war can never be our choice. We have not yet left the old wounds behind,” said Raj Bahadur Budha of Rolpa , who was fifth division commander of the then Maoist rebels and used the nom de guerre of Avinash . “No one wants war again, war is never a solution. Rolpa just wants peace and prosperity.”

According to Budha, the government might have sensed that something was really amiss and so banned the activities of the Biplav outfit. But the government does not appear to have shown maturity. “Be that as it may, war is now a big No for Rolpalis .”

According to reports, the Biplav cadres are gradually penetrating the district and elsewhere. They are stepping up their activities . According to a local teacher, they have only turned arrogant following the government's clampdown. “We want the government to bring them to the negotiating table and soon,” he said, requesting anonymity.

Another ex-Maoist rebel, Surendra Thapa Gharti, repeats the war-is-futile theme. “We already have a new constitution and the country has gone federal, so there is no need of war again,” he argues.

Khem Prasad Budha Magar of Thabang – 3 spent a decade of his life as a Maoist cadre . He now doesn't want to recall even a single day in the time of conflict. “Those memories upset me no end.”

When he was disqualified for integration into the Nepal Army, he felt that the ground under his feet had given way. “It was my saddest day.”

But his fortunes did bounce back. He started working in real estate and there has been no looking back since . “Nothing good comes of war. It only makes fools of the poor . No one should be fooled again,” he warns.

Rambadevi and Dal Bahadur Khatri saw the Maoist insurgency up close and personal . The couple from Pamka village in Surkhet now never want to go down that memory lane. “My husband was attacked with a khukuri. I pleaded for help, but nobody dared to step up,” Rambadevi says. “I don't like to talk about those horrors.”

Kshitiz Magar, then assistant commander at a cantonment in Ropla, is now a contractor in construction . And he has turned as anti-war as they come. “I don't know what the country gained , but that bloody war should never have happened." He also argues, however, that any further conflict is meaningless as the agenda of the Maoist insurgency has already been institutionalized. “Anyone still harping on the need for war could have no good intentions."

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