In a move reminiscent of the “People’s War” days, the CPN-Maoist is all set to form a military structure , though its leaders have been saying resorting to armed struggle is not the party’s immediate plan.

The party has not formally announced the formation of such a structure, but sources said the wing is already ‘informally active’ on the ground. Party Secretary Netra Bikram Chand, who also heads the People’s Volunteer Bureau, the youth wing of the new Maoist party, has been asked to head the military structure .

The wing is assembling former PLA combatants who opted for voluntary retirement after last year’s peace deal and unverified fighters who were discharged from cantonments in 2010, sources said, adding that the party is trying to cash in on the former fighters’ deep resentment of the government and the UCPN (Maoist).

Government sources claimed the group has acquired at least 120 pieces of weapons registered in the name of the UCPN (Maoist). Around two dozen small arms earlier used in the security of U CPN-Maoist leaders, which has not been returned to the PM-led Special Committee, is also expected to land with the group.

The military wing is functioning in coordination with the Chand-led volunteer’s bureau. Four former deputy commanders of the Maoist PLA, loyal to the new party, are in commanding positions at the regional and central levels, the sources said.

The ‘Eastern Division’ is headed by Udaya Bahadur Chalaune “Deepak” who was the deputy commander of the Shaktikhor-based Third Division PLA camp. The ‘division’ aims to reorganise ex-combatants from the Ilam-based First Division, Sindhuli-based Second Division and Chitwan-based third division camps and works under Commissar Khadga Bahadur Bishwakarma “Prakanda.”

The ‘Central Division’ is commanded by Ram Lal Rokka “Madan,” the former Division vice-commander of the Fifth Division based in Rolpa. Hitman Shakya “Suman” is the Commissar of the region and the division is tasked with bringing ex-combatants from the Fourth Division based in Nawlparasi and the Fifth Division.

Former Division vice-commander of the Sixth Division Nep Bahadur Bista “Bibek” is the commander of the ‘Western Division’ and works under Commissar Kul Prasad KC “Sonam.” The ‘division’ will look after the Surkhet-based Sixth Division and the Kailali-based Seventh Division.

Another vice-commander of the sixth division, Durga Bahadur Chaudhary “Santosh,” has been made the deputy commander and the secretary of the headquarters. Almost all the commanders are office bearers of the Volunteer’s Bureau which the Mohan Baidya-led party formed following a split with the mother party in April.

While Chaluane is the head of the organisational department of the volunteer’s bureau, Bista is the head of the disciplinary department and Rokka is the head of the production department. Chaudhary is the Bardiya district in-charge of the CPN-Maoist .

Sources claimed Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal are aware of the activities of the Baidhya-led party and its bid to revive the wartime military wing and are alarmed by it. The top brass of the Nepal Army and some members of the Special Committee are also aware of the reorganisation.

Asked to comment on the military structure , former division commander Chalaune claimed it was ‘just a rumour.’ He said former division vice-commanders have been asked to unite former fighters opting for retirement, hear their problems and try to find a solution.

“Each of the division vice-commanders were assigned to the eastern, central and western regions to help the fighters opting for retirement as there was no other mechanism after the party split,” he said, adding that former unverified PLA members and members of the YCL were being reorganised under the volunteer’s bureau.

Meanwhile, the Chand-led bureau is all set to adopt a new name, “Rastirya Yuwa Swayamsewak Bureau,” or National Youth Volunteers Bureau in its national conference scheduled to be held in Dhulikhel through October 10-12. Each of the district chapters have been asked to bring at least 500 youths for the conference, said a district-level leader.

The conference will announce campaigns for “protection of national sovereignty” and securing education, health and employment as fundamental rights in the new constitution and unveil programmes to ‘serve the people.’ – Ekantipur


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