Horrifying Brutality of the Maoists
"Tempo," a Jeep was running towards the capital Udayapur Gaighat from Kadmaha of Saptari district in eastern Nepal. One of the passengers was Shyam Rai, who was the inhabitant of Khotang, north of Udayapur. He was carrying a small handbag which had some gifts in it for his children, wife and his parents. He also had some money with him which he earned while he was working as a laborer in a place called Koilakhat in Northern India.
He was very excited to return back home since it had already been almost two years since he had left his house and family. All past images of his family and his village came to his mind while he was getting closer and closer to his home. In fact, it is a normal trend that due to lack of infrastructure in hilly areas of Nepal, most of the young boys are leaving their homes to find jobs.
Some are considered lucky to get jobs in British Gurkha and in Indian Gurkha. Then only, they preferred to join the Nepal army, then the Police force. If not, they go to India and do labor jobs to make money. They and their families do not realize how much they miss each other, but when they arrive with some money and gifts they consider themselves very fortunate. People are considered fortunate and they are respected if they have a number of family members serving out side. They are well known by the word Lahure in Nepal.
Those families who do not have outside earnings are normally very poor and deprived. Especially, after the beginning of the Maoist insurgency in Nepal, this trend rapidly increased. The Maoists started applying enormous pressure on young people to join their rebel force, otherwise they are kidnapped from their school or villages and forcefully enrolled. Therefore, most of them preferred to flee from their villages rather than forcefully join the Maoists.
Shyam was also one of them when his parents were continuously facing pressure to provide at least one family member to join the Maoist. Hence, he was compelled to leave his family and went to India in search of an appropriate job. All of sudden, the Tempo was stopped by a group of armed elements near the place called Hanuman Chock, leaving all passengers stunned.
The Maoists carrying guns started to search the Tempo and passengers. They gave a suspicious look at Shyam and pulled him out of the Tempo. Initially, Shyam tried to confront them by saying there was no point in pulling him since he had not made any mistake. They dragged him to the middle of the village and called some villagers to be present at the site.
He kept on telling them that he was just a laborer, but they were smashing him badly instead of giving any attention to his words. They were torturing him by using Khukuri (Gurkha Knife) and with other shrapnel. He was pleading with them that he was just coming from India and he had nothing to do with the Maoists, but they were not shrinking to him.
Shyam was telling them that "he had not seen his family since long time, if once they allow him to meet his family he is willing to do whatever Maoists order him to do." But they told him that their party didn't need his job. Finally, Shyam gave up and said "please kill me by bullet but do not torture me like this."
In answer, they told him that "People's Liberation Army's bullet is not so cheap to be wasted on him." They kept on torturing him while he was bathing in his own blood. Shyam was whispering by his breath, asking for a sip of water but in instead of water, one of the rebels peed on his mouth.
All locals were watching that scene with full of tears and fears. One small kid, Raman Karki came in the front and requested the Maoists not to kill Shyam but that he was ready to die instead of him. They didn't even care about Raman's utterance. Rather, they were threatening villagers that if any body did not obey the order of the Maoists, they will face similar types of consequences.
Finally, they buried Shyam half alive and took all his money and valuables along with them. This incident took place in the first week of February 2005. The next day, a local Maoist FM radio proudly broadcasted the news that their commander of 16th battalion and DCM killed one of the policemen named Shyam while they were on patrol near Hanuman Chowk area.
Due to an ongoing peace process, the situation now is a little different. To some extent, people can raise their voices against the Maoist atrocities and brutality. Recently, in the same area the Maoist opened fire in a school area in small dispute. People of the village gathered around the school premises for a citizens' hearing program of the incident.
All local level politicians, human right activists and journalists were also present. A newly appointed Maoist Member of Parliament, Surya Prasad Yadav was also in attendance. When discussion began, Hari Sigdel, one of the locals, deviating from the prime agenda, mentioned the story of Shyam Rai in front of all the people. He was not the only eye witness present at that time; several others also gave a supporting voice to him.
Raman also appeared with tears and mentioned the truth. The crowds, with distress, asked the Maoists to answer the people about the incident. At that time, two main culprits of the incident Badri and Kanshi were also present. Maoist's district secretary named Amar excitingly told all that they had killed thousands of others, that includes several own cadres. He had no regret doing that because he performed his job as he received order from party high command.
All the people were stunned. The program was concluded with sorry words on behalf of the party by Mr. MP, but all human right activists, politicians from other political parties, and most of other journalists returned back to their own way without any words probably due to fear and possible threats of the Maoists.