East-West Raids in Nepal People's War

Revolutionary Worker #1167, September 22, 2002, posted at http://rwor.org

"The surviving police personnel from the incident at Area Police Office (APO) at Bhiman, Sindhuli district last Saturday night are undergoing immense mental trauma..."

Kathmandu Post , September 10, 2002

Krishna Prasad Parajuli, Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police, survived the raid and told the Kathmandu Post that he escaped by jumping over a narrow gorge near the post and climbing a tree in the nearby jungle.

Another survivor, a police constable, said he hid by covering himself with earth with only his head peeping out in a paddy field.

A district member of the ruling Nepali Congress Party said, "I saved myself by hiding underneath the bed."

Trying not to break down in sobs, Krishna Kumar Parajuli, assistant sub-inspector in Bhiman, Sindhuli told the Kathmandu Post from his hospital bed, "Bullets flew on either side of us. We hid in a trench. But, we couldn't stay there... So we worked our way up to the commanding post. After a lot of firing there was a pause. Our Inspector, who was in command, thought we had won. `Nepal prahari jindabadh!' (long live Nepal Police) he shouted." But then the firing began again.


Saturday Night: Bhimad

The People's Liberation Army launched a daring raid late Saturday night, September 7, on a police post in Bhimad in the eastern Sindhuli district, about 100 miles southeast of the capital city of Kathmandu.

There were 74 police in the station at the time and 49 were killed and 21 wounded. The few who were able to survive had fled into the dense jungle surrounding the town.

This is the first major rebel offensive since the 10-month-long State of Emergency was lifted on August 28.

Police officials said around 1,000 to 1,500 rebels were involved in the five-hour operation.

It has become common practice at government outposts for the police to leave the barracks at night. Fearing attacks, they routinely sleep in trenches in the surrounding forest. When the attack began, the police came out from the trenches in a panic--only to face a volley of bullets.

Eyewitnesses said the guerrillas came in three batches and encircled the police station. Local people told reporters that the rebels rained bullets and socket bombs like hailstones.

The guerrillas set almost all government facilities on fire except the district hospital. The police post was completely destroyed, and the rebels captured whatever arms were at the post.

The guerrillas had blocked approaches to the town with huge boulders and felled trees--preventing the arrival of reinforcements until the morning. The battle site is only an hour's drive from the district headquarters, but newly deployed security forces arrived six hours later--and by this time, the guerrillas had already completed their operation and left the area.

News reports said two security personnel on their way to the battle site were injured in a landmine detonated by the rebels. And according to a Captain of the Royal Nepal Army, his men had to fight the rebels for about an hour before they were able to get to the destroyed police post.

Sunday Night: Sandhikharka

"It was around 3 p.m. on Sunday night. A silent small valley in the hills of Arghakhanchi in west Nepal suddenly went berserk when the Maoists, numbering in the thousands, attacked the district headquarters of Sandhikharka.

"Bharat Pyakurel, an Armed Police Force personnel, speaking from the hospital bed, told The Kathmandu Post, "The reinforcements sent in by the helicopters were not allowed to land on time and we were soon overwhelmed by the Maoists."

Kathmandu Post, September 10, 2002

Only 24 hours after the raid on Bhimad, the People's Liberation Army launched another daring raid on a police post--this time 185 miles west of Kathmandu, in the remote town of Sandhikharka, the district headquarters of Argakachi.

About 200 police and soldiers were posted in the town. And according to news reports, 85 security personnel were killed and 22 were wounded. All the government buildings and a prison were set on fire and destroyed.

Eyewitnesses said the attack began about 10 p.m. when thousands of rebels (some reports say 4,000) entered the town chanting Maoist slogans. The guerrillas attacked an army barrack, the office of the armed police, and the civilian district post of the civilian police. One police official said that a large number of young guerrillas set government buildings on fire while other groups of rebels attacked the security bases with sophisticated weapons.The attack continued until Monday morning.

Officials said the Maoists seized cash from local banks and exploded bombs at government installations including the district police office, army barracks, the district administration office.

Nepal television quoted one policeman saying the Maoist guerrillas attacked from all sides with very sophisticated automatic weapons. Bal Jung Tamang, an official of the Armed Police Force, told the press from his hospital bed, "They seem to be well trained and deadly guerrillas... The rebels fled the scene at about 6 in the morning after the joint reinforcements of Royal Nepal Army and police arrived at the scene. But by that time, most of our men were killed and weapons were taken."

Eyewitnesses told reporters that, after the rebels took over the town, they held an impromptu victory parade, delivered a short speech, and then left with the weapons taken from the military and the police.

Afterwards, local people told reporters that Maoist guerrillas had been building their positions around the neighboring villages of the district headquarters two to three days ahead of the attack. News reports said that in preparation, the Maoists also built health camps at nine places. And like with the raid in Bhimad, guerrillas set up blockades on the trails and roads leading into the district headquarters.

Government Emergency

The reactionary Nepalese regime, reeling from these two successful attacks by the People's Liberation Army, is considering reimposing the State of Emergency.

A State of Emergency had been in effect for nine months and was only lifted on August 28. It gave security forces sweeping search and detention powers, and all kinds of constitutional rights were suspended. Under the State of Emergency, the Royal Nepalese Army and police have carried out murder, rape and torture against the civilian population in the countryside, and carried out "search and destroy" campaigns against the guerrillas. A huge disinformation campaign has censored the press, allowing them only to report information released by the government. Some 130 journalists have been detained, pro-Maoist newspapers have been shut down and Krishna Sen, who was the editor of the Maoist newspaper Janadesh , was murdered while in custody.

Prime Minister Deuba's aides have said that all the security chiefs are now recommending that the State of Emergency be reimposed. And Nepal's minister of state for home affairs told Reuters news that "Emergency rule has now become inevitable. We must reimpose it."

As we go to press, the Maoists are getting ready for a nationwide bandh on Monday, September 16. The "general shutdown" has been called for by the United Revoutionary People's Council, under the slogan: "Mount Unified Resistance against Royal Military Dictatorship!" Things are sure to intensify even further as the People's War in Nepal advances.

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