Two shot as rival Maoist parties clash
CHITWAN, July 01: Around a dozen Maoist cadres were injured in a clash between UCPN (Maoist) and CPN-Maoist on Saturday. Of them two UCPN (Maoist) cadres - Uttam Gurung and Surya Gurung --have been seriously injured when shots were fired in the clash.
Pramesh Timalsina, Lal Singh Thing, Madhur Nepal, Sabita Nepali, Barsha Sapkota, Mod Raj Neupane, Narin Tamang, Ram Mani Thapaliya, Posh Kanta Chapagain, Masini Bomjan and others of the Baidya-led party, and Ram Dhwoj Dallakoti, Narayan Acharya and Shankar Mahato of UCPN (Maoist) are among the others injured in the clash.
The clash ensued when both the parties insisted on organizing a program at the meeting hall of the party office in Chitwan.
Deputy in-charge of UCPN (Maoist) in Chitwan Ghanashyam Dahal accused the Mohan Baidya -led party of opening fire but Chitwan police, while acknowledging that shots were fired, said it has yet to find out who opened fire in the clash.
UCPN (Maoist) had announced a meeting of 32 sister wings on June 27 while the Baidya´s party had called for a meeting of trade union at the same venue a day later. The two groups had disputes since the party split. "They had planned to kill our cadres earlier," said UCPN(Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal," adding, "We won´t resort to violence like them but will take legal recourse." He also accused the Baidya group of announcing a program for Saturday with ill-intent.
Dahal said the clash occurred after the UCPN-Maoist cadres tried to remove the signboards erected by CPN-Maoist cadres.
However, the CPN-Maoist cadres argued that the Baidya´s party should own the party office. "Pushpa Kamal Dahal´s brother Narayan Dahal and Chitra Bahadur Shrestha used goons to chase us away. We only retaliated," stated central committee member of CPN-Maoist Anil Sharma.
The scuffle continued for a long time with the Baidya group chasing and beating whoever of the establishment group was in sight. Around half-a-dozen motorcycles were also vandalized in the incident. Police have taken the party office under control following the clash, while over three dozen cadres from both the factions have been detained.
New party captures establishment´s Udaypur office
Meanwhile, CPN-Maoist has captured the UCPN (Maoist) office in Udayapur district, reports our correspondent Maheshwar Chamling Rai. Chiefs of 15 sister wings of the party swore allegiance to the Baidya group Saturday and claimed that the office has been taken over by the new party through consensus with the party establishment.
Chairman of the All Nepal Peasants´ Federation in the district Min Prasad Pokharel said the party office was taken over by the new party in consent of in-charge of the establishment group. Office secretary before the party split, Rita, said the letter pads, donation receipts, membership forms, stamps, sign boards and other documents of UCPN (Maoist) are safe despite the takeover by the new party and would be handed over to the party establishment. The new party has also consented to pay the unpaid rent of the office.
Meanwhile, CPN-Maoist said that the clash between the two sides erupted after UCPN (Maoist) cadres led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal´s younger brother Narayan Dahal and Chitra Bahadur Shrestha forcefully tried to capture the party office.
A press statement issued by CPN-Maoist leader Pampha Bhusal said the cadres of Dahal´s party attacked their cadres in the office with knives, sticks and swords. The statement said that five cadres including Lal Singh Thing, Rupa Tamang, Anusha Nepali, Rythm, Biplav and Ambika Mudvari from their side were seriously injured in the attack. They are currently undergoing treatment at a Chitwan hospital.
“We condemned the attack by the cadres of Prachanda [Pushpa Kamal Dahal] in our party office. And, we urge the party concerned to immediately stop such conspiracy and find the solution to the issue of property belonging to the Maoist parties through talks,” said the statement. Baidya-led Maoist party has also warned that Maoist Chairman Dahal will be responsible for consequences if such attacks are not stopped right away.