May 28, 2019 02:00 AM NPT
Netra Bikram Chand aka Biplav’s outfit is carrying out terrorist acts one after other. Our inability to contain this terrorist outfit—no other word best qualifies the mindless killings Biplav is subjecting common people, including his own cadres to—is going to have devastating effects for the country which is struggling to come out of the trauma of violence of decade-long insurgency. The government should take every measure to contain the outfit through dialogues. But if Chand outfit does not unconditionally surrender their arms, renounce all forms of violence and come to the negotiating table the government should not hesitate to declare it a ‘terrorist’ outfit and deal with it accordingly. It is necessary to stand tough on terrorism, for terrorism has no gray zone and Biplav group is presenting itself as nothing but a terrorist group.
First, it is continuing with extortion spree in rural villages of Nepal. Biplav cadres have taken into captive the elected local representatives, even Nepal Army personnel, in some places, elsewhere they are demanding huge amount of money in donation from secretaries and representatives of local governments. His cadres were involved in bombing the Ncell tower and killing an innocent person in February this year. At a single announcement and even a rumor of strike by his outfit, thousands of schools and colleges in the country get shut down. And for all this, he does not have credible political demands. We don’t know what actually he wants. The explosion of Sunday afternoon in Ghattekulo and Sukedhara and cases of attempted explosions in other parts of the country on Monday shows that Chand group is using terror to intimidate the people. So far, four persons— reportedly all his cadres—have succumbed to the injuries they sustained in Sunday’s explosions. They were making improvised explosive devices (IEDs)—pressure cooker and cylinder bombs—to place them in busy areas. Police have confirmed the use of IEDs in explosions in Ghattekulo and Sukedhara.
Sunday’s incident shows that Chand has mobilized his cadres to spread terror in Kathmandu Valley and is using the innocent youths for the purpose. Thus the government should enhance its intelligence system. After the incident, the government has tightened the security surveillance by mobilizing security forces. Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa has assured to leave no stone unturned to punish the guilty. As a matter of fact, the government has intensified search and arrest operations after Ncell tower bombing. Hundreds of cadres have been arrested in between but since they are released soon after this approach does not seem to be working. Nepal’s political parties, civil society and media seem to stand divided over how to contain Chand’s outfit. When the government arrests his cadres, a section of civil society and political party oppose it and argue that the problem should be resolved through talks. When Chand’s cadres bomb the infrastructure or even kill the people, we question the government for not taking action. Ruling and opposition parties, civil society and media should stand together against terrorism and violence unleashed by this outfit. When we all stand together, they will also be compelled to come to a negotiating table. The country should stand united against mindless killings and destruction of infrastructure. Chand should realize that the more he mobilizes his cadres for violence, the more the people and the state will stand against him.