Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Nepal: Peoples Liberation Army Unarmed? Apparently Not.

Posted by n3wday on September 11, 2009

pla_women_arrested_weapons_nepal_UCPN_maoistThis article was published on Nepal News. (Note: the accompanying photos are not dated, so they may not document recent patrols or actions by the PLA.)

PLA combatants arrested with weapons

The Armed Police Force (APF) has arrested nearly two dozen People’s Liberation Army (PLA) combatants along with significant amount of weapons from Jeetpur of Kapilvastu district on Monday.

The Maoist combatants – reports say around 22 in number – were heading to east, probably to Butwal or Nawalparasi from Bhalubang of Dang when they were intercepted by APF personnel at a checking point.

A number of modern weapons including M-16 and INSAS rifles and few pistols were found in the possession of the former rebels, police later said.

The APF also took control of four vehicles the PLA personnel were traveling by.

Surya Bahadur Gharti, the Brigade Commander of the PLA’s Ranibagiya temporary cantonment in Rupandehi, however, managed to avoid arrest as he fled the scene in another vehicle.

The peace treaty signed between the Girija Prasad Koirala led interim government and the erstwhile CPN (Maoist) bars PLA combatants from venturing out of their cantonments with weapons.

The arrested PLA combatants are currently being held at the District Police Office, Kapilvastu.

It was not immediately know for what purpose the PLA combatants were traveling in such a significant number.

An all-party meeting is underway at the District Administration Office to discuss the situation.

No details of the incident, including the cantonment the arrested PLA combatants belonged to, have been disclosed yet. Nepalnews.com

***

pla_nepal_UCPN_women_weaponsThis article was published on Comrade Alastair’s blog.

Update on arrested PLA fighters

New details have emerged about the arrested group of PLA fighters caught by the police carrying weapons outside the cantonment. This report says nineteen were arrested (previous reports said twenty two), and has specified the number and type of weapons captured. A PLA officer from the cantonment the arrested fighters came from has come out and said that they had left the cantonment “to provide security to party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal” and that they “were returning to the camp as per the directive of the party leadership”. He denied that this goes against the peace process in Nepal.

Meanwhile, a UCPN (M) leader called Barsaman Pun is claiming that the PLA fighters had permission from the United Nations Mission In Nepal (UNMIN), the UN body set up to oversee the peace process and monitor the situation on both sides. Frankly this seems pretty implausible to me. It’s doubtful the UNMIN would approve any such request, and even if they did it’s highly unlikely they would do so without informing the Nepali government and police forces! If the UNMINdid approve this, it’s going to make it even more unpopular amongst the reactionary forces in Nepal, who are already anoyed with what they see as it’s overly soft approach to the Maoists and the PLA.

It appears the PLA fighters were not captured as such – there was a standoff between them and armed police and they willingly chose to allow themselves to be arrested peacefully in order to avoid a gun battle which could well have totally derailed an already tenuous peace process.

This whole incident puts the UCPN (M) in a difficult position. It’s current line to the government is that it demands the issue of “civilian supremacy” (this flows from the refusal of the military to accept the dismissal of it’s commanding officer back when the Maoists were in government, a refusal which was then backed up by the President, a member of the Nepal Congress party, and the Supreme Court, which had also previously approved the Nepal Army’s recruitment of new soldiers in violation of the peace treaty while at the same time condemning a similar recruitment drive the Maoists carried out in response!) be debated in the Constituent Assembly. If the government continues to ignore it’s demands, it says it will have no choice but to launch a “People’s Revolt”.

So far the Maoists have professed their complete adherence to the peace process and have claimed that it is being undermined by other parties and the current government. This incident is likely to blow up into a much bigger political issue over the next few days.

We’ll have to wait for more details to emerge and for the Maoists to come out with a clearer and more official line on the matter. Things keep getting more and more interesting in Nepal…

***

Pla_Nepal_UCPN_nepal_maoismThis article was published on eKantipur.com.

Police net 19 armed PLA combatants


MANOJ POUDEL KAPILVASTU, Aug 25 – Police detained 19 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) combatants of the UCPN (Maoist) with sophisticated arms from Jitpur stretch of the East-West Highway, Kapilvastu district, on Monday. The PLA fighters, including an assistant brigade commander, were arrested while returning to the PLA fourth division cantonment at Jhyaltungdanda of Nawalparasi district from Nepalgunj. Of the 19 detainees, seven were in combat dress. Nine sophisticated weapons registered by United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) were seized from them, said Superintendent of Police Bikram Singh Thapa.

The police team confiscated three INSAS rifles (103519, 1013261 and 1001155), three SMGs (0026470, 1013200 and 10117309) and an M-16 (1004480), an SLR (10344268) and a pistol (0026174) from the PLA men in civvies.

Police also took under their control the four vehicles they were travelling in. Brigade Commander of Sainamaina camp in Rupandehi district, Surya Bahadur Gharti escaped from Saljhandi of Rupandehi district. Sources said there were some armed PLA fighters on the vehicle (Ba 5 Cha 8848) he was riding. Police attempted to detain them but they could not stop the vehicle which was in very high speed.

The PLA fighters fired some rounds in the air as they were about to enter the camp.
Fourth division assistant brigade commander Shakti Rokaya, who is among the 19 detained PLA men, said they had gone to Nepalgunj to provide security to party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal. “But we were returning to the camp as per the directive of the party leadership,” he said. He further claimed that their action was not against the peace process in the country.

The PLA men were brought to district headquarters Taulihawa at around 2 p.m. though they were held at 11 a.m.

The highway area remained tense for an hour as the detained Maoist fighters tried to flee. Locals left the place hurriedly fearing a possible battle between the police and PLA combatants.

“The policemen and combatants aimed their guns at one another for some time. We ran away when we saw them ready for battle,” said a local.

Chief District Officer Nagendra Jha said the PLA men, held with arms, would not be released unless the Home Ministry gave directives.

Meanwhile, Maoist leader Barsaman Pun claimed that the PLA fighters had come out of the camp after seeking permission from UNMIN.

Posted on: 2009-08-24 23:04:00 (Server Time)

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