From the Nepali Press
Gajendra Bohara in Annapurna Post, 28 March
In 2002 during the height of the Maoist rebellion, the government launched the Kilo Sierra 2 operation to curb guerilla activities. The Maoist army was also going all out on defense. On 22 September 2002, Kul Bahadur Sunar was grazing his cattle when the army entered his village, Mahat, in Rukum. As villagers fled inside their homes, gunshots were heard and Sunar fell to the ground, never to rise again.
During the war, Mahat earned the moniker ‘battlefield’ because of the constant battles there between the Maoists and the army. The village has the highest number of war casualties in Rukum: 58 people, including Sunar, lost their lives and 65 who were injured are now disabled.
A day before Sunar was killed, three platoons of guerillas attacked the police post in Mahat, abducting the in-charge, DSP Thule Rai. It was the first time the Maoists took a high-level prisoner. In exchange for Rai’s freedom, they demanded the release of Maoist leader Dev Gurung. The guerilla who led the attack on the police post is the present Vice President, Nanda Bahadur Pun.
Villagers in Mahat now want peace and have erected a statue of Buddha to symbolise their wish that bloodshed doesn’t return to the village. MP Daljeet Sepaili provided Rs 1 million from the Parliamentary Development Fund have taken a small amount from the District Development Office Fund.
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