Nepal Maoists resume arms, attack police: report

By IANS, Kathmandu : A month after Nepal’s Maoist rebels joined the seven-party government, signalling a formal end to their decade-old guerrilla war, a large contingent of them has attacked a remote police station with firearms, a media report said Tuesday.

Hundreds of guerrillas stormed the Suiya police post in Banke district, a stronghold of the guerrillas, Monday night and heavy firing was reported, Kantipur, a private television channel, said Tuesday.

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Meant to patrol the border, the police post is manned by less than a dozen personnel and eight of them were out of contact Tuesday, the channel said.

The police headquarters in Kathmandu said they had sent a team to the site to investigate and had no immediate details.

The Maoist leadership was also not immediately available for comments.

The report comes a day after the UN said the guerrillas were not following the peace pact, in which they have pledged to return the public property they captured during the insurgency and allow displaced people to return home.

The Office of the UN Human Rights High Commissioner in Nepal said its personnel had noted during their field trips that many displaced people were yet to return home for fear of the Maoist cadres.

It said it had also received reports of people trying to return but being chased away.

“Such conditions are not part of the November 2006 comprehensive peace agreement,” the UN body said.

The report also comes at a time the Maoists say they have confined their soldiers to cantonments and locked up arms under UN supervision.

However, there has been a growing fear that the rebels still have a large number of soldiers and arms outside the barracks.

Though the pact between the guerrillas and the government last year raised hopes of peace, the alliance, however, has been seeing a growing rift in recent times.

The rebels have been pressuring the ruling alliance to abolish monarchy through a declaration in parliament instead of holding a poll, as decided earlier.

The parties allege that the guerrillas are still continuing with extortion and violence in violation of the peace pact.

Over 13,000 people have been killed in the bitter Maoist war that sought to overthrow monarchy and establish a communist republic.

However, after King Gyanendra seized power through a coup, the rebels united with their former foes, the opposition parties, to fight the royal regime.