Monday, October 22, 2018

Up to 100 members of Communist Party of Nepal jailed as faction blasts government's dialogue efforts.

Kathmandu, Nepal - A nationwide crackdown by the government of Nepal on a Maoist splinter group has raised fears of violence more than 10 years after the end of an armed communist rebellion.
Up to 100 members of the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN), including its top leaders, have been jailed for their alleged role in pre-election violence. The party had boycotted the general elections in November last year.

CPN leaders and many of its members once fought alongside the Maoist rebels during the decade-old civil war (1996-2006), but split from the main group after the latter decided to disband the People's Liberation Army as part of a peace deal.

Analysts fear the continued crackdown could trigger more violence from the group, which accuses the ruling Maoists of abandoning the path of the "people's revolution".

The most high-profile arrest was of Khadga Bahadur Bishwakarma, spokesman of the CPN, who was detained on August 8 on the outskirts of the capital, Kathmandu.

He has been arrested several times - allegedly for extortion, arson and explosion of improvised devices during and after the elections, in some cases targeting election candidates.

Bishwakarma was released on September 25 following a Supreme Court directive, but dozens of party cadres still remain behind bars.

The government is intent on suppressing our movement. It is not interested in addressing our demands to organise rallies and mass meetings.

Across the country, party members - including district secretaries - have been arrested by the police. Last week, in Rolpa district, a former Maoist stronghold, police detained Santosh Subedi, the party's district secretary during the funeral of his comrade's father.

The CPN leaders call the current government led by Nepal Communist Party (NCP), of which the main Maoists are a part, "social fascists



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