CPN Maoist cadres held on extortion charge
KATHMANDU, FEB 08 – Police have arrested two CPN Maoist cadres on charge of extorting money from people in the name of donations to their party. Shiva Ram Dangal, 26, of Sindhupalchowk and Umesh Ghorasaini, 29, were arrested from Koteshwor after they were found to have abducted a person demanding ‘donation’ for their party on Thursday. Ghorasini has claimed himself to be the District Committee Member, Bhaktapur of CPN Maoist. Police have also recovered a letter signed by party Chairman Netra Bikram Chand (Biplab), mentioning names of possible donors. The two-page document has listed family history of 35 people and the “donation” amount, ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 400,000.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Dan Bahadur Karki, chief of Metropolitan Police Circle, New Baneshwor said the duo had been pressing Dewa Temba of Sindhupalchowk to handover Rs 2 million. “The duo abducted Temba in the second week of January and was released after he promised to pay the ransom. He had been assuring them that he would pay the sum but asked them for some more time,” Karki said, adding that the perpetrators were arrested after Temba lodged a complaint at the circle. CPN Maoist has formed a “special squad to collect donations” under the orders of the party central steering committee headed by Chand, according to party leaders.
The cadres have been extracting from Rs 5,000 to Rs 2 million in donation from individuals, and small and medium-sized enterprises. Such squads have been visiting business houses in person, sending text messages, letters and also making threatening phone calls for contributions. The CPN Maoist leadership admitted to the Post that they have been collecting donations for the upcoming general convention and to fund party programmes. SSP Narayan Singh Khadka, spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s Office, said they are focusing on curbing trend of extorting money from people in the name of a political party.