Maoist guerrilla Uma Bhujel has spent her entire revolutionary life in an out of jail. During the war, she was captured, made a jail break, was recaptured, and escaped again. After the ceasefire in 2006, she was nominated to the Constituent Assembly and joined the YCL.
But since then, as a semi-underground member of the Biplav faction of Maoists, she has again been in and out of jail 12 times in eight months, accused of being in possession of weapons.
After being shunted around the country on court summons, she appealed to the Supreme Court which ordered her release on 30 August. But as soon as she was released from detention in Sunsari, she gave police the slip and has vanished again.
All this would have been farcical enough. But what even more ironical is that she is being released by the judicial system of a state that she has taken up arms against, and is being detained by a police force under direct command of Ram Bahadur Thapa, her former Maoist comrade who is now Home Minister.
Since December, Uma Bhujel has been arrested, released, re-arrested, relocated and presented before multiple district courts.
“After filing and losing all their cases, the Nepal Police has no charges left against Uma Bhujel,” says her lawyer Ekraj Bhandari, who is now suing the police for harassment of his client.