The Murder of Comrade Kamala Bhatt

The Crisis Ridden State and Change of Government in Nepal

From the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)

Revolutionary Worker #939, January 11, 1998

The RW recently received the following article, which is attributed to the International Department, Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and dated November 15, 1997. The CPN(M), a participating party in the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, initiated the people's war in Nepal in February 1996. For more information on the people's war in Nepal, see the 1996/22 issue of the magazine A World to Win.

The otherwise known "peaceful" Himalayan kingdom of Nepal is at present undergoing a big political turmoil. Within the last seven years of monarchical parliamentary system there have been six government changes all together. While general impoverishment has been the general trend of Nepal for the last few decades, what is hastening the present crisis in ruling class of Nepal is the Maoist people's war that was initiated barely two years back under the leadership of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). Since the initiation of people's war, there have been three changes of governments, each competing to outdo the other in trying to nip in the bud Maoist people's war. But each attempt has led to not only failures in their mission of suppressing the people's war but has also nakedly exposed their treacherous anti-people and anti-national policy before the masses.

When the Nepali Congress, a party of big landlords and bureaucratic capitalists, failed to contain Maoist people's war, the ruling class (particularly the royal palace) decided to lend support to United Marxist-Leninist party in forming government. Taking example of India's experience where a powerful Naxalite movement* was crushed with the help of the revisionist CPI(M), the ruling class in Nepal hoped the UML in power could effectively suppress the Maoist movement. However, UML's effort to bring the anti-terrorist black law, together with deploying military in Maoist stronghold areas so as to facilitate repression of people's war, met with big failure as the vigilant masses of Nepal, including the intellectuals, cultural activists, human right activists (including UML's own grassroot cadres) opposed their use vehemently. Seeing UML's vacillation in promulgating the black law and use of military force to crush the people's war, the ruling class replaced the so-called left government with a more nakedly reactionary and fascist coalition government headed by Surya Bahadur Thapa, a notorious rightist Prime Minister during the autocratic monarchical period from 1960 to 1990. Commenting on the formation of this new coalition government Com. Prachanda, General Secretary of CPN(Maoist), has blasted the two major parliamentary parties for facilitating the return of the old autocratic rule. In a press statement issued on October 11, 1997 he has also exposed the present parliament as a tool of feudal and imperialist forces and has called for the total overthrow of the present system through the armed people's war and establishment of a New Democratic state. Similarly, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, President of United People's Front, has issued a statement exposing Surya Bahadur Thapa's professed "priority to peace and security" as an indication of the depth of fear instilled in the ruling class by the Maoist people's war. He has warned the people against the present government's conspiracy of sending police and military in plain clothes as vigilantes and attacking the masses, thus giving an appearance of "people fighting against the people."

It is said that the morning shows the day. This is no less true in Nepal, where the coming of Thapa as Prime Minister has already triggered a chain of state repression.

Rape and Murder of
Com. Kamala Bhatt

On October 20, 1997 Com. Kamala Bhatt, a young 25-year-old party member, a district secretary of All Nepal Women's Association (Revolutionary) (Gorkha district) and a school teacher, was found raped and murdered on the bank of Daraundi river. She was returning after addressing a series of mass meetings in various villages. She was seen leaving Gohare village in Gorkha district around 8 a.m. Her dead body was found surrounded by policemen around 10 a.m. Thus within two hours of leaving the village she was ambushed by the combined forces of Commandos (specially deputed from Kathmandu to suppress Maoist activities), local police and vigilantes. She was tortured, raped and killed brutally by them. Her shawl, a pair of slippers and the rest of her clothes were found in a nearby jungle while her dead body with only her underpants was discovered nearby Daraundi river by the local villagers. This is the first evidence of the present government's new vigilante style of suppressing the people with the backing of policemen and commandos, when their other direct methods of suppressing the movement had failed. This incident has evoked a tremendous hatred amongst the masses against the reactionary state and a sense of revenge was prevalent in the air. On October 22 about 6,000 villagers gathered to pay homage to the brave martyr Bhatt. The genocidal police, scared to death with such a massive crowd, fired upon the masses when they were returning from the funeral, grievously injuring another young woman student, Tika Lamichhane.

From the nature of genocide and repression unleashed against the masses, specially against the women, it is clear that the ruling class is shaken by the increasing and daring participation of women in various Maoist activities, including guerrilla warfare. The present bizarre attack on women is clearly aimed at terrorizing young women from participating in the Maoist people's war. However this has evoked greater fury and zeal amongst the masses to punish the butchers of Com. Bhatt. Already hundreds of thousands of people have paid revolutionary homages to martyr Bhatt in different parts of Nepal with a pledge to advance the people's war with firmer conviction and to punish the butchers.

Today, more and more people are joining the Maoist forces. In fact state repression is encouraging the people to revolt against this rotten system and usher in New Democracy in Nepal. Today even a section of the ruling class has openly acknowledged that in Nepal there are only two forces, the royalist force and the Maoist force, contending for state power. Brutal repression has only hastened the revolutionary consciousness among the toiling masses. No wonder more and more masses, specially women, have been joining guerrilla units to take revenge against these butchers and to fight for New Democracy. And this seems to accelerate the process of hoisting the red flag on the roof of the world.

* The Naxalite movement was an armed peasant uprising led by Maoists which broke out in spring of 1967 in northeast India--RW

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