People's War in Nepal:
Reports from the Battlefield

Fall 1998 to Spring 1999

Revolutionary Worker #1012, June 27, 1999

The following excerpts are from an article from "Bulletin II," put out by the "Solidarity Forum to Support the People's War in Nepal" in Delhi, India. This recent news about the People's War in Nepal was published in April 1999, before the recent May 3 and 17 parliamentary elections in Nepal. The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) called for a countrywide boycott of these elections. The excerpts have been slightly edited by the RW for clarity.

The Fourth Expanded meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) decided unanimously to adopt the Fourth Plan under the stage of strategic defensive. This is the first plan to call for building Base Areas. "March ahead along the great path of building Base Areas" was the main slogan adopted for this entire Plan. Two successive big pushes have already been accomplished successfully in the course of implementing this plan. At present, the third push of boycotting the forthcoming parliamentary elections is being executed. It is in this context that we have attempted to portray major military actions and activities of mass mobilization which have been carried out by the CPN (Maoist).

On the 27th of October 1999, the Party entered into the Fourth Plan. The Party, through thousands of leaflets, appealed to the entire leftist, progressive, patriotic and democratic forces as well as to different nationalities and masses from the oppressed regions to help implement the Fourth Plan of building Base Areas and participate in the revolutionary state power locally. Higher levels of military actions were launched on the very day of introduction of this plan and thousands of posters were distributed throughout the country. This issue covers the news of the Maoist activities that have been executed during the period of five months, i.e., from 27th October '98 onward.

Mahima, a pro-people weekly published from Kathmandu on 31st October, writes that the Maoist guerrillas raided the police post at Phalante in the Kabhre district of the Eastern Region and captured four rifles, one pistol and much ammunition at 4 p.m. on October 27th. A policeman died on the spot. The guerrillas successfully accomplished the task with no loss on their side. On the same night at Nirmal Basti in Parsa district of the Eastern Region, the guerrillas captured two rifles and more than 200 bullets. During another action, the guerrillas seized one rifle from the regional broadcasting center of Radio Nepal at the district headquarters of Surkhet in the Western Region. Likewise, three 12-bore guns and precious metals worth around Rupees 38 lacs (3.8 million) were also captured from the Nepal Bank Limited in Rukum district of the Western Region.

Apart from these raids different forms of actions were executed in most of the district headquarters and rural areas. The Maoist guerrillas destroyed two telephone towers, one at Jajarkot district in the Western Region and the other at Dhading district in the Central Region, in the same night. Altogether, more than 200 lines were disconnected. Administration offices, police posts, land revenue offices of the government, multinational companies, distilleries, local exploiters' godowns and several other exploitative agencies were targeted. In the course of these actions, the district administration office of Lamjung district and the police post at Takukot in Gorkha district were blasted. The land revenue offices of Tanahun district, Nawalparasi district, Chitwan district, Kaski district and Salyan district, the agricultural development banks of Rolpa district, Gorkha district and Chitwan district were severely damaged by powerful bomb explosions. The residential houses of the Health Minister K.B. Gurung in Ilam, the district headquarters of Smriti Narayan Chowdhury, the district level president of Nepali Congress at Janakpur Dham in Dhanusha district, were also blasted. At the same time, the Maoist guerrillas annihilated a notorious informer, Lekh Raj Banjara, in Lalitpur district. He had caused the death of five Maoist guerrillas by informing policemen. Several kinds of propaganda activities such as torchlight rallies, armed rallies, graffiti and corner meetings were also carried out throughout the country, including in the capital, Kathmandu.

Among the military actions following the day of the initiation of the fourth plan, the encounter with the police force at Saunepani in Salyan district and Jhelneta in Dang district (both in the Western Region) and the raid at Bhatte Danda in Lalitpur district are considered to be more advanced militarily.

According to the 28th November '98 issue of Mahima, the Maoist guerrillas blasted a telephone tower at Jhimpe in Salyan district. While a commando team was proceeding towards the spot, it faced a surprise attack by Maoist guerrillas at Saunepani in Salyan district. Two policemen breathed their last at the spot and the other 10 policemen surrendered to the fighters with their arms. The guerrillas recovered 12 rifles and thousands of bullets from the incident. The Maoist revolutionaries could have annihilated all those policemen but let them free after a brief political class. The Maoists assert that they have taken a policy of not killing the prisoners of war. This policy of the Maoists is praised everywhere, the media reports.

The Janadesh Weekly of 5th January '99 writes that the Maoist platoon launched a surprise attack against a police post at Bhatte Danda on the night of January 2nd and captured four rifles and more than 200 rounds of ammunition from the incident. During 12 minutes of fighting, two policemen were killed on the spot and two others were injured. After blazing the post, the guerrillas dispersed from there with no casualties on their side. This action was planned to commemorate the heroic and successful raid of the Bethan Police post two years before, where the commander Comrade Tirtha Gautam and two other comrades were martyred.

Jana Aalwan Weekly, published from Kathmandu, in its 22nd January issue, writes that a Maoist platoon comprised of 40 guerrillas surprise attacked policemen at Jhelneta in the border area of Puthan and Dang districts in the Western Region. The incident is revealing. A group of seven policemen proceeded to take down a banner hung up by the Maoists. Six of them occupied seats inside the bus and one was on the roof. A member of the Maoist platoon sat with the policeman on the roof. After arriving at a point, the guerrilla snatched the rifle and jumped down to the road and fled away. Immediately after the policemen started firing, the counter-attack took place from the Maoist side. A policeman died on the spot and two were injured seriously. The remaining four surrendered with arms to the platoon of Maoist army. The platoon recovered four rifles and more than 200 rounds of ammunition from the incident.

In the course of implementing this plan, several other major and minor actions are reported to have been executed. Annihilations and other punishment against the informers, actions against the local exploiters and different propaganda activities are carried out throughout the country. The news media reports that annihilations are limited only on those notorious informers who have no chance of being corrected. It seems that the Maoists have taken a policy of "annihilating one and teaching a lesson to many," which is reported to have achieved positive results. Armed propaganda activities, torchlight rallies, wall paintings, banner exhibitions and other forms of activity are constantly helping in mobilizing the masses.

The Party, on the special occasion of celebrating the Third Anniversary of the initiation of the people's war, chalked out several such programmes to mobilize broad masses and propagate its politics among them. Tens of thousands of posters and leaflets were distributed on this occasion. News media from Nepal report: "torch rallies, corner meetings, explosions and armed demonstrations were carried out in each and every corner of the country including the capital Kathmandu." It is observed that on their own initiative the masses conducted several programmes, such as explosions, illuminations and cultural programmes, to celebrate the Third Anniversary. During the 15-day course of celebrating the anniversary, it seems that the Party had stressed a large number of smaller actions for the sake of grassroots propaganda in every corner of the country.

The reactionary headquarters such as district administration offices (office of Chief District Officer), police posts, residential houses of the reactionaries, local exploiters and different exploiting agencies were blasted to warn them not to get involved in anti-people activities. The progressive media reports that the CDO offices of Sunsari (the home district of Prime Minister Girija), Dhading district, Khotang district, Bhojpur district, Rolpa district and others were blasted. In the same way, the Maoist guerrilla army exploded powerful bombs at DSP offices in Makwanpur and Rolpa district, Dhaulawang police post and Punja police post in Pyuthan district, Benibazar police post in Shyangja district, Takukot police post in Gorkha district, Chisti Bagar police post in Baglung district and Chanauti and Bhojang police posts in Chitwan district also were destroyed by blasts.

The news media reports that an agricultural development bank, the branch office in Bardiya district, a textile factory in Sunsari district, a land revenue office in Chitwan district, a land reform office in Bara district and others were blasted with powerful explosives. In keeping with the call of the "National Mass Movement Coordination Committee" to restrict the free movement of Indian trucks, a truck of an Indian merchant in the heart of the capital city Kathmandu was exploded. Similarly, the guerrillas captured all the loan papers worth around 2.7 million rupees, about 30 thousands rupees in cash and about 150 grams of gold from a usurer, Shastra Dutta Suvedi, in Lamjung district. Apart from these actions other propaganda activities were conducted during the occasion of the Third Anniversary. These actions aroused the whole country in favor of the People's War.

Yojanta, a pro-people weekly newspaper published from Kathmandu writes on 25th February, "A powerful bomb exploded at the residential house of Home-Secretary, the topmost bureaucrat in Home affairs, Padma Prasad Pokhrel, in Kathmandu. This incident took place on 23rd February 1999. No one was injured from the explosion, but a government car, his personal jeep and a motorcycle were turned into ashes. The powerful explosion cracked the wall of his residential building." The newspaper quotes the statement issued by Squad Commander Sujan, "Through this ordinary sabotage we warn Padma Prasad Pokhrel, the architect and planner of genocide, not to get involved in genocidal activities.... If this is not stopped we will be obliged to go for higher forms of action against you."

Just a week after the aforesaid action of sabotage it is reported that a Maoist guerrilla platoon successfully accomplished a raid on a police post. The Jana-Ahwan weekly published on 5th March '99 writes that the Maoist guerillas captured seven rifles, one Chinese pistol and more than 300 rounds of ammunition from a police post at Chiriagar in the border area of Dang and Salyan district in the Western Region. The post was raided at 1 a.m. on the 3rd of March. During almost two hours of fighting seven policemen, including the sub-inspector Bed Prasad Bhushal, died on the spot and another was injured seriously with no single loss on the Maoist side.

On the basis of aforesaid actions it can be concluded that the military capacity of CPN (Maoist) is advancing rapidly in qualitative leaps. Consequently, the reactionary troops are put in a corner in each assault. It is a matter of pleasure for the revolutionaries world over.

In the course of implementing this fourth plan Maoist guerrillas annihilated a notorious informer and traitor Yadu Gautam of Rukum district on 5th of March '99. He was found guilty of collecting information about Maoists' shelters and activities and submitting them to the reactionary headquarters. While practicing as a lawyer he used to take bribes from both sides in the cases filed with the court and so on and so forth. He had been abducted in the period of local elections for his anti-Maoist activities and was warned not to commit such crimes. Just two days before the incident he was again threatened to stop his misdeeds. But despite these repeated efforts to correct him, he not only continued his criminal anti-people activities but also increased them further. For this reason he was annihilated, Maoist sources report. He was a district committee secretary of the Nepal Communist Party (UML) and a candidate for the forthcoming parliamentary election. Maoists have been reiterating that they never annihilate the class enemies on the basis of political beliefs but only as a result of counter-revolutionary activities, the media reports.

During this period of almost five months since the inception of the Fourth Plan, it seems that the Party has tried its best to mobilize broad masses against the reactionary state. Despite severe state terror and repression, different mass fronts which are said to be closer politically and organizationally with the CPN (Maoist), successfully held their National Conferences in the capital itself. The news media reports that the Valley Bandh [strike] (the Valley comprises three districts, namely, Kathmandu, Lalitput and Bhaktapur) called by the National Mass Movement Coordination Committee on 17th December '98 was a total success. The Bandh was organized to protest against the genocide carried out by the Girija regime and other burning questions of the nation and the people's livelihood.

Another Valley Bandh (general strike) programme on 5th of March '99 called by "Newa Khala," the organization of the Newar nationality, was a complete success, Janadesh reports. They have been fighting for the national autonomy of the Newar nationality against national discrimination of the Brahmin fundamentalist ruling classes for a long time. Because of firm support for their demands, the CPN (Maoist) actively participated in making it a success. Even the bureaucrats of this nationality felt obliged to support the strike. The reactionaries tried to align Newa Khala organizationally and politically with the CPN (Maoist), to terrorize the masses, but failed completely. This Bandh deserves historical significance because it is the first time in the history of Nepal that such a conscious programme with a demand for national autonomy was accomplished successfully.

The National Mass Movement Coordination Committee which the reactionaries consider an open wing of the CPN (Maoist), has called on all the patriotic forces to boycott Hindi cinema and stop the free movement of Indian trucks in Nepal. The media reports that this is accepted positively by a good majority of the masses, artists as well as Nepalese film producers and truck owners. They regard it as a great blow against the Indian compradors who are obstructing the development of the national economy in Nepal. Not a single one out of 30 cinema halls in Kathmandu Valley is showing Hindi movies now. In an interview with Yojana Weekly published on 18th March, Neer Shah, the president of "National Film Association, Nepal" supports this call. He says, "This call has raised a sense of patriotism, it should be praised. We should support a good thing whichever political parties raise it." Indian trucks are facing various obstructions here and there. The media reports that the truck owners' association also has shown full support for it. They take this call to be in favor of the emerging national bourgeoisie.

The reactionary state has been launching "Kilo Sera Two" operation against the revolutionary masses since last year. A specially trained commando force is deployed in the main zones of struggle to repress the People's War. The Royal Army is not yet declared to have been deployed formally, but are being used in police uniform, the media report. About 550 innocent people have laid down their live for the sake of world proletarian revolution, till now. The incidents of looting, arson, rape and torture by the reactionaries are countless. In short, the government is exercising a fascist Nadir Shahi rule against innocent masses in the pretext of controlling Maoist activities.

All the reactionary parties by now have been fully submerged in parliamentary elections to be held in two phases on 3rd and 17th of May 1999. Why did the government jump into parliamentary elections 10 months before its term? The reason is simple. The police force is incapable of controlling the People's War. The government has been seeking a suitable [excuse] to deploy the Royal Army against [the People's War]. The progressive Nepalese media reports that the government may feel that the best situation to deploy [its] army against Maoists is with the pretext of maintaining "peace" during the elections. The main issue in their propaganda has become the stability of this so-called democracy, which they feel is on the verge of collapse because of the Maoist People's War. Security of the candidates in the forthcoming parliamentary elections seems to be the main concern of the reactionaries. The Home Minister, in a press conference held in Kathmandu on 12th March, tried to ensure the security of candidates by providing four additional patrolling teams of the Royal Army, each consisting of 15 well-equipped soldiers, as an extra force to each constituency. A group of 15 policemen is being deployed in every election booth and two security guards for each of the candidates. But the candidates hold that if the Home Secretary and police officers are unprotected in the capital itself, who can ensure their security in remote corners?

The media in Nepal asserts that the Maoist boycott of the forthcoming election is certainly going to be like pieces of iron in the rice of other parties. They can neither chew nor digest it. At the same time, the masses have no attraction towards this election at all. The media also reports that the reactionaries have linked the Maoist People's War and boycott of the elections with the stability of their multiparty political system.

Most of the leading humanitarian activists and independent individuals have opposed the extra-judicial killing of the people. Even the prominent leaders of Nepali Congress such as Daman Nath Dhungana and Durga Suvedi have been criticizing the fascist rule of the Girija clique. Daman Nath Dhungana, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, a human rights activist and a prominent lawyer frequently reiterates, "Maoists will go on developing as long as the corrupted people remain in the society." The Mahima Weekly published on 13th March '99 quotes Dhungana as saying that the government is supposed to protect people's lives but if it fails, [the day will come] for the people to protect themselves. Krishna Prasad Bhandari, a distinguished advocate said, "I welcome Maoists for raising arms against those corrupted people who purchase Pajero cars duty-free from the national fund and sell passports to the smugglers." He said this in a workshop program on "peace, security and the parliamentary elections," Mahima reports....

Most of the media from Nepal hold that the People's War has been established as a way out of the present crisis. Polarization is rapid. Fascist leaders of all the reactionary parties are being criticized by their cadres. One news media in Nepal concludes, "The embryo of New Democratic Republic of Nepal is developing fast amidst all round crisis of the reactionaries."

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