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Voting for the enemy

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017
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Maoist candidate Barsha Man Pun (at far left) asks for votes in Rolpa. Pic: Jiban Dangi

People in Harjang village of Rolpa district still shudder recalling the massacre of fellow villagers nearly 20 years ago. On 11 March 1999, Maoist guerrillas stormed the village and burnt nine people alive, leaving a deep scar on the psyche of the people here. Most people murdered by the Maoists were sympathisers of another communist party: the UML.

Today, the UML is in a coalition with the Maoists and it is supporting an ex-guerrilla candidate in Rolpa for parliamentary and provincial elections which will be held on 26 November and 7 December.

As Maoist leader Barsha Man Pun goes door-to-door asking for votes, UML cadre are seen at his rallies. The UML may have forgotten Maoist excesses, but those who were shaken by the Harjang massacre are not ready to move on.

Kumar Dasaudi, a UML candidate in the Rolpa assembly election, says that it is pity his party completely forgot the Maoists’ cruelty against its own comrades: “I am not opposed to Left Unity, but the Maoists should have first said sorry.”

The Maoists beat up, tortured and killed UML supporters not just in Harjang, but in many parts of Rolpa. Now, these two parties have forged an alliance, those UML supporters who endured Maoist brutality feel betrayed.

“Leaders can bury the hatchet any time, but it causes us pain,” says the UML’s Rai Bahadur Dangi in Jinabang village of Rolpa.

Jiban Dangi

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