KATHMANDU, Dec 11: The long-running intra-party rift within the UCPN (Maoist) has surfaced yet again with trade unionists loyal to party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai factions clashing violently on Monday over the registration of a new trade union at the labor office.
Shalik Ram Jamkattel led union´s Hotel Restaurant and Casino leaders close to Dahal attacked Laldhwaj Nembang led union´s leaders close to Bhattarai faction.
The clashes left Hotel Everest´s union treasurer Bikram Rai, vice-secretary Mani Ram Thapa and member Rajan Bista injured, requiring hospitalization. Bhattarai faction´s cadres then attacked the newly registered union´s Chairman Jhalak Shrestha. He was also admitted to the emergency of the Civil Hospital.
The lastest flare up of violence between the the two rival faction came after Jamkattel faction´s leaders registered a new union of the Hotel Everest at the labor office at Teku earlier this week. Jamkattel´s faction did not have presence at the hotel and the documents submitted at the labour office by Jamkattel´s faction apparently had fake signatures of workers, management chief and company´s fake stamp, claimed Hom Subedi, chairman of the existing union.
"They attacked with iron rods and stones. They left them supposing they were dead," said Subedi.
According to Subedi, there is only one union under the leadership of Subedi. He claimed that among the 115 workers´ signature only five were genuine.
Earlier, Nembang faction leaders had boycotted the national convention of the hotel restaurant union which was held at Pokhara. The convention was postponed by party. But Maoist leaders Janardan Sharma had participated and Prakash Shreshtha was selected as chairman.
Similarly, deep rift among the factions led to the party dissolving all parallel unions and formed a unified body under the party Secretary Post Bahadur Bogati. Finally, party had reinstated Jamkattel after warning people not to participate in the mass meeting of the Maoist in Kathmandu. Nembang, who leads Bhattarai faction´s trade union, had been expressing objection to the leadership of Jamkattel.
Earlier, Jamkattel, who was also a lawmaker, was attacked at Babar Mahal by Bhattarai faction supporter. Similarly, Jamkattel´s cadres had attacked Baidya faction´s workers at Khanna Garment. And, Nembang himself was attacked by Jamkattel faction at Patan industrial area.
Maoist trade union is the first sister wing of political parties with parallel organization. Jamkattel, Badri Bajagain and Nembang had led three parallel Trade Unions with their loyalties to Dahal, Baidya and Bhattarai respectively.