Nepali Maoist leader who killed civilians receives threat from the right activists

Posters showing Dhungel and seeking 'citizens' action' (printed in Nepali language) against him

Kathmandu – “Who is Bal Krishna Dhungel? Is he a bad man? What crimes has he committed?” Parents strolling along the roads and alleys of Kathmandu with their children get fed up with these questions of their wards these days. Although parents know well who Mr. Dhungel is and what crimes he has committed but they cannot tell their wards everything they know only because they might receive threats from the Maoist activists walking nearby them.

Dhungel who was elected to the Constituent Assembly representing the Maoist party from Okhaldhunga district in eastern Nepal in 2008 election was convicted of murder of one civilian Ujjan Shrestha of his home district.

But the police never dared to arrest him. Instead, the former government-led by Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai not only gave him protection but also provided him government security guards.

When the court verdict was never implemented, a group of right activists launched ‘Occupy Baluwatar’ campaign two months ago to exert pressure on the then prime minister Bhattarai.

The activists have been staging a two-hour sit-in every day for the past two months at Baluwatar, the place where the Prime Minister’s official residence lies, demanding implementation of the court verdict against Dhungel.

The same right activists have recently pasted the posters consisting of Dhungel’s balck and white photo in the walls and polls of Kathmandu demanding citizens’ action against him.

It is interesting that the Maoist leaders and cadres who killed hundreds of civilians brutally in the name of their ‘people’s action’ from 1996 to 2006 are now warned of taking ‘citizens’ action’.

The posters which have portrayed the former Maoist lawmaker as a villain of Bollyhood (Hindi cinema) including a threat of taking citizens’ action against him have been a headache for the Maoist leaders while showing that the people and activists no more fear the former rebels.

The appearances of the posters in the city coincided with the ousting of the Maoist-led government. Dhungel might not receive state protection as in the past in the new political situation and the campaigners of Baluwatar Occupy might not halt their pressure tactics until Dhungel’s arrest.

Again, the chief justice of the Supreme Court that convicted Dhungel of homicide has been appointed the head of the government and many right activists and lawyers are waiting whether the new government would implement the verdict against Dhungel.

Meanwhile, the UCPN-Maoist has warned rights activists and the Occupy Baluwatar campaigners of stern action if the ongoing protests against the party’s former lawmaker Dhungel were not halted immediately.

Issuing a statement on Friday, Maoist leaders Devendra Paudel and Lila Bahadur Thapa said distributing pamphlets and posters depicting Dhungel as a criminal was a condemnable and despicable act of the human rights activists and Occupy Baluwatar campaigners.

Claiming that Dhungel’s case is political, the Maoist leaders said his case should be settled through political means.

“We strongly condemn such actions. If they are not stopped, we will be compelled to take stern action,” said the statement.

But the right activists and people in general are not ready to take the case as a political one. Many have strongly objected to the statement of the Maoist leaders in social media.

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