HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
SURKHET/DHANGADI: Driven to desperation with uncertainty looming over army integration process, most former Maoist fighters who had opted for integration into the Nepali Army have left the camps.
Irked at the delay, most of the 3,100 fighters who had opted for integration have left the seven camps across the country.
Those remaining at the camps under NA surveillance said they were preparing to seek voluntary retirement boycotting the integration process.
Attributing the government’s failure to resume the integration work and the party’s apathy towards their problems, the Maoist fighters are deserting the camps, sources at camps said.
PLA Sixth Division, company assistant commander Jay Bahadur BC, who was living at a hotel outside the camp, said, “We have no utensils to cook or a place to sleep.” Most fighters have quit the camp, he said.
Seventh Division battalion commander Nawal Rokaya at Kailali’s Tikapur said they were in a wait and watch mode.
Stating that they had halted their agitation after division commanders and deputy commanders assured them over phone that efforts were underway to forge consensus, he said the condition of the former fighters was aggravating by the day and threatened to launch protests after a week if their plight were ignored.
“Most fighters have left due to lack of basic facilities like food and shelter after the camps were handed over to the NA,” Rokaya added.
Since the army took over the command of PLA camps across the country, former fighters’ military exercise has been stopped and they have nothing to do inside the camp. They are also obliged to show their identity card to the on-duty NA personnel while entering the camp. Last month Company Assistant Commander Pankaj Malla did not allocate the ration allowance for the combatants. The NA team that reached the PLA camp too has been sitting idle after the integration process was stalled.
(With inputs from Damak, Narayangadh, Nawalparasi and Sindhuli)