from A World to Win News Service

Two Nepali Maoist Leaders Murdered

Revolutionary Worker #1254, October 10, 2004, posted at

The following article is from A World to Win News Service .

September 27, 2004. A World to Win News Service . The Nepal Royal Army murdered six revolutionary leaders and cadres on September 5, including two central leaders of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). Comrade Sherman Kunwar (Bishal) a party Central Committee member and Commissar of the Sixth Brigade of the People's Liberation Army, and Comrade Mohanchandra Gautam (Kumar), an alternate Central Committee member, were returning to their political duties in eastern Nepal after a major Central Committee meeting.

The Maoists called a two-day national strike September 28-29 to protest these murders. According to the BBC, on the morning of the first day the country's roads were deserted and most workplaces, businesses and schools shut down entirely.

The Maoist weekly Janadesh ran a description of the murders based on eyewitness accounts. Royal Army soldiers in civilian clothes surrounded the house in the village of Dhanshar in Siraha District, eastern Nepal, where the comrades had lunch. All together eight Maoist leaders and cadres were in the home at that moment. The "Royal Terrorists," as people in Nepal call them, shot and wounded Sherman Bishwar, and killed three other Maoists and the owner of the house on the spot. Three other cadres managed to escape the Army encirclement. The Royal Army tortured the two party leaders for three hours in an attempt to extract information about the whereabouts of top party leadership. When they failed, at 3 pm the soldiers dragged the two through the village and shot them dead. The Maoist weekly added that Nepal's self-proclaimed king Gyanendra Shah had given direct guidance for this operation, including the killing of the prisoners, and that the government of his hand-picked Prime Minister Deuba gave full approval of the murder.

CPN(M) Chairman Prachanda issued a statement on September 7 condemning the cowardly killing and honoring these comrades whom he called irreplaceable. He declared that revenge would come through success on the battlefield in the first plan of the strategic offensive the party is now leading. He also pointed out that the murders had taken place in the context of coordinated patrols and other unified actions by the Nepali and Indian government at the nearby border. The incident emphasizes the capitulation of the regime and its army to India, he said, and "further clarifies the danger of Indian intervention in Nepal."

The advance of the people's war has left the Gyanendra regime isolated and completely reliant on the U.S. and India. He has sought to defeat the people's war through two main methods. One is massive and often indiscriminate violence, such as bombing mass gatherings, killing peasants at random and "disappearing" and killing thousands of ordinary people as well as revolutionary leaders and cadres. His soldiers rape women, loot homes and destroy people's crops, livestock and other things necessary for their livelihood. The more repression has mounted, the more the people's rebellion has developed. Thousands of People's Liberation Army men and women, hundreds of thousands of members of the people's militias, and the revolutionary efforts of millions of Nepalese people have made it impossible for the king and his whole feudalistic and foreign-dependent big-business clique to beat back the Maoist- led rebellion in Nepal. Hence the Nepalese reactionaries, since the beginning, have also used the method of hunting down and murdering revolutionary leaders, often relying on spies and informers.

To cite only a few among many examples this month alone, on September 12, the RNA killed an elderly political activist named Narayan Sharma and Maoist activists Kabiraj Sharma and Tara Nepali in the district of Dailekh in western Nepal. All of them were arrested unarmed and then killed after torture. They did the same to Kumar Gajamer in Morang district, eastern Nepal. On September 1, Ram Prasad Ghimire from Jhapa district disappeared after being arrested by the RNA. There the RNA even disappeared an activist of UML (United Nepal Communist Party (Marxist Leninist) (a falsely-named communist party sharing power in the Gyanendra-appointed government). The Royal Army murdered Badari Khadka, a Janadesh war correspondent in Jhurkiya village eastern Nepal, and claimed he was killed in an armed encounter. An eyewitness told the Maoist newspaper that the soldiers grabbed the journalist, took off his clothes and blindfolded him with them. While trying to get information about Maoist leaders from him, they beat him with a rifle butt, gouged out his eyes and destroyed his jaw and his entire face.

In contrast, this is how the revolutionaries treat captives: The PLA arrested a constable from the investigation department of the royal regime, Ramesh Rajbanshi, on September 2, and then on September 3, Tara Khanal, a Royal Army recruit. When the two men gave their word that they would no longer work with the regime in the killing of the Nepalese people, they were released September 4 in the presence of journalists and human rights activists.

What explains the difference between the two armies? One is fighting a war for the people's liberation, a war that has nothing to rely on but the people, and which must increasingly unite the people to win, while the other is fighting a war to maintain the people enslaved, a war that is increasingly targeting the people as a whole. In that war, the Royal Army has nothing to rely on but its ability to terrorize the people.

In the context of the murder of the captured Maoist leaders and members, the CPN(M) chairman issued a statement to Amnesty International and other human rights organizations in Nepal and worldwide. In addition to exposing and criticizing the royal government's crimes, Amnesty International had sent Comrade Prachanda an open letter urging his party to stop carrying out what they called "arbitrary abductions." Prachanda made it clear that his party has not committed that kind of act and in fact has a policy against arresting or detaining people without proper reason.

First of all, he said it is a "blatant lie" that the party kidnaps or otherwise forces students, teachers and other people to attend mass political meetings and other events. Groups that repeat these baseless charges are simply repeating government propaganda. (Foreign news outlets have scoffed at the idea that the Maoists have to force anyone to attend their meetings and cultural events.)

Second, he discussed party policy regarding criminal justice. The new people's government which now controls most of the countryside has an obligation to investigate and, where appropriate make arrests, he explained, in cases like killings, rape, stealing, destroying animals and public property and so on. Spies who help the reactionary regime kill ordinary people, revolutionaries and revolutionary leaders are also included in the category of criminals. Punishing people for specific crimes has nothing to do with punishing people for their political beliefs and affiliations, which is against party policy. The detention of suspects is conducted humanely, and people found innocent after investigation or trial are released. "We always release the facts after the investigation," Comrade Prachanda underlined.

"We want to draw to the attention of human rights organizations the thousands of cases of abductions, disappearances, severe torture and killing conducted by the old state, for which there is a great deal of evidence," Comrade Prachanda concluded. "The recent killing of our Central Committee members comrade Sherman Kunwar (Bishal) and comrade Mohanchandra Gautam (Kumar) after abduction and severe torture are burning examples.