CPN Maoist turning into military force: Chand
KATHMANDU, FEB 11 – Netra Bikram Chand-led CPN Maoist has claimed that it has begun transforming the newly formed party into a ‘militant’ one, with military training to its full-time cadres which mainly constitute members of the former People Liberation Army (PLA) and Young Communist League. A meeting of CPN Maoist party leaders had decided last week to “immediately formulate and work on developing the military”. Leaders attending the meeting said the discussion was fully focused on the need to revamp the party with an eye on ‘militancy ‘. The leaders, however, said there is no plan to form a separate military unit as discussed earlier. A central committee team headed by party coordinator Chand would lead the militant force.
The CPN Maoist , which split from the Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist with nearly 40 percent central committee members, is estimated to boast between 10,000-15,000 full-time cadres. The party has also kicked off a campaign offering salary to retain former PLA members in the process of going out for foreign jobs, informed sources said. According to the leaders, a growing number of UCPN (Maoist) and CPN-Maoist cadres, supporting the extreme left ideology, have been entering into the new party. It is not immediately clear how the party aims to manage arms and ammunition for the paramilitary activities. The party reportedly have a ‘few hundred’ weapons used during the ‘people’s war’.
Sources said that the party plans to intensify its ‘donation campaign’ to raise funds to buy arms and ammunition and manage other party activities. “The central idea is to give the party a militant shape, providing military training to the party members and carrying out underground activities. It will take time,” said a CC member who was present in the discussion. Senior leader Khadga Bahadur Bishwokarma, however, ruled out the plan to form the military unit now, clarifying that the party neither intend to go underground nor go back to war anytime soon. The party plans to intensify its ongoing ‘crusade’ against corruption, bad governance and hoarding from grassroots to central level. Leaders believe that these activities would help the party win the public confidence. The party’s first central committee meeting had also emphasised the need to form a military force but has not officially acknowledged forming such unit.