Nepal is facing the worst time in the form of terrorism. Terrorism has reached its peak in recent times. On an average two people are killed every day in the violence perpetrated by Maoists. Sadly, some political parties have become puppets and joined hands with Maoist leaders.
Last week, the Indian news channel AAJ TAK showed a news story on preparation and training of Maoist cadres. Many young people including young boys and girls were shown receiving armed training. They were equipped with sophisticated arms including self-loading and AK 47 and 56 rifles.
How have these arms reached and are reaching the Maoist outfit in Nepal? Our country is not producing arms. Naturally, these arms are being smuggled into Nepal through the porous borders of our neighboring country. Recently, a truck loaded with explosives worth hundreds of millions of rupees was seized. According to authorities, the explosives were meant for use by Maoists terrorists.
Recently, our Home Minister Mr. Kamal Thapa, also categorically said that Maoists are receiving their arms and explosives from a friendly neighboring country. The authorities also claimed it seemed the explosives seized from the truck had come out directly from a factory. The minister also claimed that the explosives used in the attack on the Army post in Ilam had also come from that same friendly nation.
Here the question arises? What is the cost of running such a huge movement of terrorism and from whom are the Maoists receiving money to run their terrorist activity or how are Maoists collecting money?
Our Maoists proudly claim they are a 40,000-strong outfit. They also claim they are equipped with sophisticated arms, including SLRs, AK-47 and AK-56 rifles, automatic machine guns and anti-aircraft guns.
Staggering millions are required to run an organization of such strength. They also need hundreds of millions of rupees to procure arms. Naturally, terrorist organizations are procuring arms and ammunition from the grey market costs much more than the actual price.
Suppose, Maoists rebels are spending fifty rupees on each cadre on their food and lodging alone every day. That means they need at least Rs. 2 million per day for that purpose. It comes to Rs 60 million a month and Rs 720 million a year.
Apart from that they procure a huge quantity of arms and ammunition to fight against the Royal Nepalese Army. According to a rough estimate, it would cost not less than Rs 600-750 million a year. We should not forget that Maoists are concentrated mainly in far-flung areas with rough terrain.
It means the Maoists need a minimum of Rs 1250 to 1500 million every year to sustain and run their movement, which they claim they are fighting for the people of Nepal. They say they are fighting to bring democracy in the country. Is that true?
What are the Maoists doing? They are looting banks, collecting taxes from hapless people and forcing poor farmers to donate food grains and money. If innocent people do not heed their dictates, Maoists gun them down. Hundreds of people have lost their lives at the hands of those who claim they are fighting for protecting their rights.
People are aware of the fact that Maoists are collecting taxes from businesspersons, factory-owners, and even small shopkeepers. They are collecting money even from small farmers, milk vendors and vegetable growers.
The Maoists are kidnapping very young boys and girls from villages and forcing them to join their cadres. People are so afraid of Maoists that parents are asking their young children to leave villages. In some of the areas with large Maoist presence and influence, one can find villages without young people. Parents have sent their children over the age of 14 to safer places. In some villages one can find only older people being looked after by very young kids.
Apart from using terror tactics to collect money, the Maoists have their other hidden agenda also. They are using people as human shields in most of their attacks on police or Army posts to minimize casualty. They are aware of the fact that RNA personnel will not fire at the innocent people. If some innocent persons are killed in the cross fire, the Maoists put the entire blame on army or police personnel.
The Press and Human Rights activists are severely criticizing the government and especially the Army for the killing of innocent persons, while they ignore the design of the Maoists who use people as human shields. They should know the actual aim and design of the Maoists – it is to minimize their loss and create hatred in the minds of citizens against RNA and the government.
Earlier, Maoists were using terror tactics against the relatives of army personnel. Maoists were also coercing them to make their wards leave the Armed forces or to leave their villages themselves. Some villagers, whose children or relations are serving with the RNA or police force, had abandoned their villages and houses.
However, nowadays Maoists have adopted a new tactic. Instead of threatening people and trying to brainwash them in the hope that they will ask their wards to leave the RNA or the police force, they are asking them to return. However, the Maoists are finding little success in this as people are afraid to return to their villages.
Hundreds of innocent people have already lost their lives to the bullets of Maoists, which they procured from the money collected forcibly. The Maoists’ main aim is to grab power only through violence and by using terror tactics. But we should fight against such designs of terrorist elements. A terrorist will always remain a terrorist as he has faith in terror. He is without a religion. What will happen if such violent people grab power? They will kill more and more innocent people who will raise their voice against them as they are doing now. We should be vigilant against such elements in our society as terror has no place in the world or in a democracy.
Rahul Thapa is a freelance journalist based in New Delhi. His articles have been published in various Nepali newspapers and news portals. He can be contacted at [email protected]
By Rahul Thapa