Maoist hardliner opposes handing over arsenal keys
Kathmandu: Cracks have appeared within Nepal's Maoists after a hardliner leader opposed the party's decision to hand over the keys of its armed wing's arsenal to a special committee, calling it "suicidal" Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya issued a statement asking scraping of the decision and termed it as a "suicidal" move.
However, Maoist Chief Prachanda said, the move to hand over the keys to an all party Special Committee was not against the party decision.
He appealed the party cadres and combatants not to be misled by activities of Baidhya, who has expressed dissatisfaction over the move, saying that the move was deviation from the party's official line.
In a statement today, Prachanda said, that the decision to hand over the keys of containers with the weapons was on the ground of the five-point proposal and commitment endorsed by the party's Standing Committee meeting held in August 22.
The Maoists have handed over the keys of around 3,400 weapons stored in various cantonments as per their earlier commitment. Handing over of the arm key was an important step towards concluding the peace process.
One of the points mentioned in the five-point proposal clearly states that the Maoist combatants and arms containers would be handed over to the Special Committee by September 1 once a government was formed under the Maoist leadership, Prachanda said in the statement.
Earlier today, the Baidya faction boycotted the party's Standing Committee meeting, protesting against the key handover.
The dissatisfied group of the party close to Baidya also enforced nationwide shut down from 9:30 to 10:30 am today to protest against the party's move.
Some 19,200 PLA fighters have been confined in seven cantonments and 21 sub-camps across the country with only about 3,400 weapons following the Compressive Peace Accord
reached in 2006.
The Special Committee is entrusted with supervision integration and rehabilitation the Maoists' Peoples Liberation Army (PLA).