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Violence: The common denominator 




Violence in Gujarat

The Unseen Hand

Attacks on Christian

 Attacks on Shias

Maoist insurgency

State responsibility and crisis of conscience



Violence in Gujarat


 J. Chander

 GlobalomNet Media Service



Burning Vehicles



Ayodhya is one of India’s holy places. The name signifies a “a place of no conflict” but the reality since 1992 has been different.


Both Hindus and Muslims lay claim to a small 2,400-square-foot area at the heart of a 67-acre site.


Until 1992, it was the site of  16th century Babri Masjid mosque, which was destroyed by a group of Hindus. They regard it as the site of an earlier temple of  Lord Ram, an incarnation of  Lord Narayana, the Supreme Personality, amongst Hinduism's high deities.


Their “reason” for destruction: there was a temple here that was destroyed when Babur, the Mughal ruler, invaded India, and a mosque was built at the site. (It was quite common for the Mughals when they established their rule in northern India,) And their desire to redeem it.


Since1992. when over 3000 people died, court battles have raged over title to the site, which remains unresolved.


Hindu “nationalists” have been constructing - off site - an expansive temple to Rama, and waiting for government approval to assemble the temple in Ayodhya.


The latest round of violence started when Muslim militants attacked a train carrying Hindu pilgrims on February 27, setting it on fire and burning to death 58 people, mostly Hindus. The train had been returning from Ayodhya to Godhra in Gujarat


In the first three days, nearly 300 people died in fierce religious fighting in the state of Gujarat, with the Hindu majority and Muslim minority attacking each other over deep-rooted sectarian grievances.


A curfew was declared in nearly 40 towns and cities across Gujarat, and soldiers were sent in to patrol the streets and stop mob violence. Police were given shoot-on-sight orders to stop anyone breaking curfew or starting trouble.


However, the Times of India has reported that police have been absent as some of the worst mob violence took place, with Muslims begging in vain for the Hindu-dominated police force to intervene.


All political parties issued a joint statement today calling for peace in Gujarat. But it is not obvious that the people of Gujarat have heard them.


It's an affront to India's struggle to be a modern, pluralistic, tolerant state of 800 million Hindus, 130 million Muslims and others. These dark tensions hark back to independence in 1947, when a million died in communal violence.


The statistics for the month-long nightmare are mind-numbing. The official death toll stands at 783. Nearly 97,998 people are living in 101 relief camps. The government has declared different packages, including that of providing Rs 5,000 to Rs 50,000 as compensation to those whose houses have been gutted, but the claimants don't know where to build their houses.

Police say 125 persons have died in police firing. They fired 6,500 rounds, lobbed 8,300 teargas shells and arrested a staggering 10,000 people. Impressive figures, but nobody is impressed. Not the all-party MPs' delegation or the National Commission for Minorities or even the National Human Rights Commission.

The impact of violence is written around not only the relief camps but also the nearly 30 towns and cities of Gujarat which are still under curfew as the police, facing the music for their initial sluggishness, are not taking any chances in the build-up to Holi.

With Holi's potential for mischief later this week, none of the nearly 100,000 refugees at the relief camps is willing to go back to their homes. Most of them actually have no homes to go back to, and even if they do, the feeling of fear is so overwhelming that they are willing to live in the filthy camps rather than risk attacks.

“The carnages of the first three days, or 72 hours as chief minister Narendra Modi likes to put it, have given way to a low-intensity but sustained warfare where students going to examination halls have been stabbed, nurses going to hospital for the night-shift have been attacked with acid bombs, individuals having married outside the community have been hunted down and killed and people being escorted to safety by the police have been lynched, “ writes Bharat Desai in the Times of India.

“Ask Modi when all this would end and he finds a rather strange synchronisation between the MPs and the mobs when he says that the violence would come to an end when the Lok Sabha session ends,” he adds.


The financial punch of the riots that is beginning to tell. CII and GCCI estimates of losses in this one month are Rs 2,000 crore, something that a state already reeling under the impact of the earthquake just could not afford. The earthquake at least brought people together.

"Gujarat is a prosperous state and indeed a nice place to settle down but the communal riots have completely changed the perception," says Arshad Alam, a senior auditor with the Comptroller and Auditor-General’s Ahmedabad office. Alam hails from Bihar and has gone on a month’s leave after riots broke out in the city. He has not ventured out since then.




The Unseen Hand


Anosh Malekar/Godhra and Ahmedabad

Was Godhra town, in the desolate tribal belt of eastern Gujarat, a laboratory for a new kind of terror against India from across the border? With the arrest of prime suspect Haji Bilal Ismail Sujela from a Godhra slum called Hayat ni Wadi on March 16-two weeks after a mob torched 58 persons, mostly women and children, on the Sabarmati Express-investigators are hoping to expose the cross-border connection.  

Haji Bilal, an independent member of the Godhra Municipality and chairman of its planning committee, has a criminal past with at least 10 cases against him. Railway Police records show that the slightly-built, bearded Haji Bilal was once a pickpocket. Later he started a ring of gambling dens in Godhra with Hussein Dhantia, an alleged conspirator in the train carnage. Investigators say some who were involved in the massacre often met at Bilal's gambling den days before the attack.

They also claim to have information on Bilal's links with Yusuf Kharadi alias Godhrawala, who had admitted to his Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) connection when the police arrested him earlier. Bilal's Indian passport which expired last year shows he had visited Pakistan twice in 1992 and once in 1993. But the anti-terrorist squad (ATS) of the Gujarat Police and the Railway Police, which conducted the joint operation to nab Bilal, believe he must have visited Pakistan again on fake passports. He had reportedly escorted Ahmedabad underworld kingpin Abdul Latif's wife Mehrunissa and her brother Abdul Rauf to Pakistan using fake passports; Latif was killed in a police encounter a few years ago. "We need to probe whether he has another passport. Pickpockets can be slippery customers," said an investigator.

The crucial point the investigators would be looking for is whether there was a greater conspiracy involving agencies from across the border in the Godhra massacre. Among 51 people arrested for the train carnage are Godhra Municipality president Mohammed Hussain Kalota, councillors Adbul Rehman Abdul Majid Dhantia and Salim Abdul Gaffar Shaikh. Two other councillors, Farookh Bhana and Yakub Bakkar, have vanished. Kalota is said to have admitted that Bilal and Farookh Bhana had planned to attack the train which was carrying karsevaks returning from Ayodhya.

"We do not rule out any possibility," said Vipul Vijoy Singh, deputy inspector-general of the ATS, pointing out that there was an "element of determination" behind the burning of coach S6 of the Sabarmati Express. "The train was stopped twice in the course of a kilometre it covered from Godhra station before the coach was set on fire," he said.

Godhra has a long history of communal strife between Muslims on the south of the railway line and Hindus on the north, and altercations generally take place on railway platforms. Singh said he had reasons to suspect something more than that in the whole incident.

Journey to death: Mob fury at Godhra claimed 58 lives on Sabarmati Express

According to the first investigation report (FIR) filed by the Railway Protection Force-the first to react to mob fury despite being outnumbered-the burning of coach S6 took place between 7.55 a.m. and 8.25 a.m. A short while after the train left Godhra station at 7.47 a.m. after a five-minute halt, someone pulled the alarm chain. The assistant driver went to the coach and the train resumed its journey around 7.50 a.m.

The FIR says: "Immediately thereafter, there was a second incidence of vacuum drop in front of the Godhra A cabin. A mob had surrounded coaches S5 and S6 near A cabin at 7.55 a.m. Three RPF constables-Karan Singh, Shree Mohan Yadav and Ambarish Kumar-fired four rounds from .303 rifles." It also notes that "provocative calls were being given from a loudspeaker of a local mosque".

The mob, allegedly led by Bilal, threw stones at rescuers and security personnel helping passengers to safety. Eyewitnesses also recall Haji Bilal preventing fire engines from reaching the railway tracks. "The RPF personnel fired 19 rounds, 18 from 9mm carbines and one from a 303 rifle," said RPF Inspector John K. George.

Independent observer Dr Chandrakant Pandya, vice-president of the Gujarat State Police Housing Corporation, upholds the conspiracy theory, even if locally hatched, to attack the karsevaks. "Last December, we witnessed a clash between two groups of Muslims over control of mosques in Godhra," he said, indicating the growing presence of fundamentalist elements in the area.

Intelligence officers at Gandhinagar had information about a few Tablighi Jamaat preachers seeking control over mosques in Godhra, a move resisted by the local Muslim leaders. The Tablighi Jamaat is an Islamic movement that underplays political power of the state and concentrates on civil society, identity and cultural issues of Islam. It promotes the agenda of terrorist groups like Harkat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami (Huji). It rejects many practices adopted by the Indian Muslims.

Haji Bilal and Kalota apparently had leanings towards the Tablighi Jamaat doctrine propagated through a network of recently set-up seminaries in Godhra. The ATS has clinching evidence on Huji's activities in Gujarat. On February 15, it arrested Asad Ahmed Munshi, a tutor at a Tablighi Jamaat seminary at Dabhel near Surat, with two others in possession of arms and explosives. This could be a lead the investigators would follow keenly.

A senior intelligence officer, however, said the carnage could have been averted if the police had heeded the warning signals. "The Gujarat Police knew of tensions between karsevaks and the Muslims at Singal Falia in Godhra. But this was not followed up seriously," he said. He added that the "intelligence apparatus in Uttar Pradesh and the district police of Faizabad never informed us about the movement of karsevaks till February 28." By then it was a day too late.


(Source: March 31, 2002)






Attacks on Christians


Attacks on Shias


Attacks on Christians

 Subroto Mukherjee

GlobalomNet Media Service


Pakistani security agencies are exploring possible al-Qaida links to a wave of terrorist strikes, including a grenade attack on a church that killed two Americans and three other people, the government said Wednesday.

Information Minister Nisar Memon said the government has identified some groups that could be responsible for the attack on a Christian church in Islamabad and plans a further crackdown on religious extremists. He refused to give details.

``The attacks could be a possible reaction of Pakistan's decision to join the international coalition against terrorism,'' Memon said. ``Obviously the terrorists won't like a whole country turning against their activities.'' - AP from Islamabad

The latest attack on a Church in Pakistan follows a string of instances of persecution of Christians in Pakistan. It is only rarely that persecuted Christians have found justice.

Following are some cases of persecution of Christians in Pakistan over the past year compiled by the group International Christian Concern:

February 13, 2002: The Supreme Court of Pakistan agreed to hear the case of Ayub Masih after admitting there were irregularities in his prosecution. The hearing is expected to take place within the next two to three months.

January 13, 2002: A bomb exploded inside a Christian church at G/8 Christian colony in Islamabad. The roof of the building collapsed, causing great structural damage. No one was in the church at the time the bomb went off.

November 9, 2001: Waheed Paul, a Catholic Christian, was shot to death as he travelled to his job in Peshawar.

November 4, 2001: Unidentified pro-Taliban gunmen murdered Mr. Benjamin John, a Christian security guard of the Airport Security Force at Quetta International Airport, as he and four other Muslim security guards attempted to halt the gunmen from entering a prohibited area.  The gunmen forced Mr. John to the floor in a hail of gunfire, but did not injure any of the Muslim guards.           

October 28, 2001: Five masked gunmen rushed into Saint Dominic’s Church and opened fire on worshipping Christians, murdering 16 people and screaming “Graveyard of Christians – Pakistan and Afghanistan,”  “This is just a start,” and “Allah-u-Akbar”. Four children, four women, and eight men were slain in the attack.

August 9, 2001: The dead body of a 23-year-old Bible College student was found outside of his church along with a letter that said, “Stop Preaching to Muslims”. The Christian man, identified only as Sheraz, was kidnapped on August 2 as he left his place of work in Lahore.

June 25, 2001: Islamic extremists in Sabu Mahaal village robbed the home of Christian Hamid Masih and also raped his wife. Hamid is the brother of Saleem and Rasheed Masih, two men convicted of blasphemy in May of last year. Hamid has been caring for his brothers’ wives and children. The family is now in fear for their lives.

April 1, 2001: Christian teacher Pervez Masih was arrested on charges of blasphemy. Masih, who ran his own high school in Chailayke village, Sialkot district, was accused of uttering blasphemous remarks against Prophet Mohammed during tutoring sessions with three former students. It is believed that the teacher of a rival high school has implicated Masih falsely in order to force the school to close and gain the business for himself.

March 11, 2001: The families of two men, helping to support eight Christian girls, who were raped in May of 2000, were threatened by Islamic extremists.

Pastor Fareed Masih and Ashiq Masih were not present at the time that the extremists forcibly entered their homes and assaulted their family members, including Pastor Fareed’s mother. The group left a message for the two men, saying that if they did not stop supporting the Christian girls, they would be killed.

February 11, 2001: Fourteen-year-old Naira Nadia was kidnapped from her home in Mariam-a-bad, Shiekhupura district. The kidnappers were angry that she had dared to share her faith in Jesus Christ with her school-mates. The girl was brutally raped.

January 25, 2001: Three Christians, accused of blasphemy in 1998, were acquitted by the Lahore High Court. Hussain Masih, Isaac Masih and Iqbal Sehar Ghauri were accused of desecrating the Quran and uttering derogatory statements about the Prophet Mohammed on November 25, 1998.

January 10, 2001: Three Christians and 14 Muslims in Karachi were arrested during a peaceful protest against Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. Those arrested were charged with unlawful assembly and also attempted murder.


 Attacks on Shias

Victims of Wahabism?

More than 70 doctors and 34 lawyers, various Ulema, scholars, teachers and students of seminaries, religious figures, politico-religious parties leaders and activists, officials of various government and private institutions have so far been assassinated during the last two years in Pakistan. Their only fault, they were Shias. (The list of the victims has been compiled with the cooperation of Sipah e Sahaba.)

Sipah e Sahaba (Army of the Companions), best described as Sipah e Yazid (Laeen ibn e Laeen) is a Wahabi/Deobandi terrorist organisation which is being funded by Saudi Arabia and supported by the Wahabi ranks in Pakistan Army’s ISI. Lashkar e Jhangavi is the death squad of Sipah e Sahaba. Riaz Basra, chief of the Lashkar, is being sheltered by the Wahabi Taliban in Afghanistan.

With the financial backing from Saudi Arabia and ammunition, protection and training from the Pakistan government, Sipah e Sahaba and Lashkar e Jhangavi have been openly killing Shias in Pakistan for many years now. Hiding behind the name of Sahaba Ikram (RA), these Wahabi terrorists tried to portray themselves as Sunni Muslims. But alhamdolillah the Sunni Muslims of Pakistan openly denounced these Wahabis and their terrorist activities. When they were rejected by the Sunni Muslims, the Sipah e Sahaba started killing the Sunni Ulema and leaders as well. This clearly showed that the Sipah e Sahaba was purely a Wahabi/Deobandi militant organisation which only wants to eliminate anyone who hates Yazeed (Laeen ibn e Laeen). Their prime goal, like the Saudis is to kill, torture and oppress the followers of Ahlul Bayt (AS), whether Shias or Sunnis. Using the name of Sunni Muslims, these Wahabi butchers have killed scores of innocent Shia Muslims and have tried to create hatred among Sunni and Shia brethren.

Islam was preached by Awleya e Ikram (Sufi Saints) in the Indian sub-continent. The Awleya filled the hearts of the masses with love for Ahlul Bayt (AS). The Wahabis/Deobandis/Kharjiites who for centuries have openly been an enemy of the Ahlul Bayt (AS) and their followers, now decided to disguise themselves as Sunnis.

In Pakistan, the preachers in almost all mosques are appointed and paid by the government, which has very carefully placed Wahabi mullahs in Sunni mosques. Majority of the Sunni Muslims have, unknowingly, become a victim of this anti-Ahlul Bayt conspiracy by the Wahabis. Spreading false rumors against the Shia community is one of the most important weapon of the Wahabis. As these Wahabis portray themselves as Sunni scholars, the innocent Sunni masses have been believing every thing they tell them.

The Pakistani media has also played its role in creating hatred between Shias and Sunnis by using the word "Sunni" for the Wahabi Sipah e Sahab and Lashkar e Jhangavi and blaming the massacres of Shias on their Sunni brothers.

All praise for Allah, the Sunni brothers have now started to realise the situation and they have started confronting the Wahabis on every front. The Sunnis, as a punishment, have also become a target for these Wahabis. Maulana Saleem Ullah Qadri, head of the Sunni Tehrik in Pakistan was brutally murdered by the Sipah e Sahab in Karachi. The Maulana had become the flag bearer in recent years for the religious organisation representing the majority Barelvi Sunnis in Pakistan.

We hope that the Pakistan government now, as it has joined the internatinal community in the "War Against Terrorism", would also pay attention to the innocent victims of Wahabism in Pakistan. We also request the international community to pressurise the government of Pakistan to rid the law abiding and peaceful Shia and Sunni Muslims from the menace of Wahabism.

We pray that Allah swt blesses Sunni and Shia brothers with strong unity and may He protect everyone from the evils of Wahabis and their terrorism. Ameen. (Source: Shia News)

The List of Victims


Below is a list of some of the innocent victims of Sipah e Sahaba and Lashkar e Jhangavi:

Year 2002


January 29: Karachi Jawwad Rizvi, a retired employee of an insurance company in his early-60s was shot dead and his friend Zumarrud Hussain Jaffery wounded seriously by suspected Sipah e Sahaba terrorists.



January 09: Karachi A Shia official Syed Hasan Ali shot dead by Sipah e Sahaba



Year 2001



November 15: Karachi A Shia industrialist, Syed Hasan Abidi shot dead.



October 28: Bahawalpur16 Christian worshipers killed at St. Dominic's Church



October 10: KARACHI: Sindh Board of Technical Education Chairman Syed Hassan Zaidi gunned down



October 09: KARACHI:College principal Syed Gul Imam Shah shot dead



October 04: KARACHI: Seven die in Imambargah shooting



September 13: QUETTA: Professor Atiq Hasan Naqvi hurt, son killed in Quetta



September 12: KARACHI: Pesh Imam of Defence mosque, Allama Syed Razi Hyder and two sons, shot dead



September 10: KARACHI: Capt (Retd) Altaf Hussain Bungasha, a PTCL official, killed



September 04: KARACHI: Pesh Imam of Hussainiya Sajjadiya, Maulana Hussnain Naqvi, shot dead



September 01: KARACHI: Three, including Hamid Rizvi, gunned down



August 29: QUETTA: Masked men kill civil engineer Syed Abid Abbas Naqvi



August 18: KARACHI: Grenade attack on Pesh-Imam of Masjid-e-Shah-e-Khorrasan



July 30: KARACHI: Syed Zafar Hussain, Director R&D in the Ministry of Defence killed



July 30: LAHORE: Imam Masjid Syed Rizwanul Hassan killed



July 28: MULTAN: Former MPA Siddiq Kanju and friend shot dead



July 26: KARACHI: Shaukat Raza Mirza, MD of PSO, and driver shot dead



July 24: MAILSI: Religious leader Syed Ziaul Hassan Kirmani and others killed



July 20: KARACHI: Commissioner office staffer shot dead in Lines Area



July 15: KARACHI: Another Shia killed in Orangi Town



July 9: KARACHI: Two gunned down outside Imambargah



July 8: KARACHI: Doctor falls prey to terrorism



June 27: DERA ISMAIL KHAN:Top Shia leader gunned down



June 26: KARACHI: Doctor shot dead in Soldier Bazaar



June 14: MULTAN: Two Shias shot dead



May 31: KARACHI: Doctor shot dead in Gulshan-e-Iqbal



May 18: KARACHI: Sunni Tehrik Chief, six others shot dead in Karachi



May 09: KARACHI: Two shot and wounded in Orangi Town



May 07: NOWSHERA: Ali Sarwar Sarhadi, a Shia leader fired upon




May 07: DERA ISMAIL KHAN:Senior Superintendent of Police Ijaz Ahmad Langarial shot dead



April 28: KARACHI: Sub-inspector Syed Hashim Raza shot dead



April 3:  VEHARI: Former TJP leader shot dead



March 22: MULTAN:Lashkar man confesses to several killings



March 4: 12 killed in attacks on Shias in Sheikhupura



March 2: Tehrik-i-Jafria worker shot dead in Karachi



March 1: Riots claim 8 lives after attack on Shias in Hangu



February 26: TJP activist shot dead in Vehari



February 22: Lawyer dies in Gujranwala terrorist attack



February 22: Ex-DSP, son shot dead; attackers arrested in Karachi



February 18: Three killed in sectarian attack in Faisalabad



February 17: Bodyguard killed in attack on TJP leader in Jhang



February 9: Two shot dead in Karachi



February 7: TJP activist, another man shot dead in Tank



February 6: Two TJP activists shot dead in Karachi



January 25: Tehrik Jafaria man shot dead in Multan



January 20: Iranian religious scholar shot dead in Karachi



Year 2000



December 30: TJP leader shot dead, wife injured in Karachi



December 16: DSP Lahore Tariq Kamboh and his driver were gunned down



December 04: Human rights activist & Former PPP MPA, Syed Zakir Hussain Shah shot in Rawalpindi



December 02: Dr. Nayyar Hussain gunned down in Orangi Town



November 24: TJP Secretary-General Anwar Ali Akhunzada shot dead in Peshawar



October 31: Dr. Altaf Husain killed in Orangi Town



October 30: Dr. Karamat Ali shot dead in Orangi Town



June 27: Four Lashkar-e-Jhangvi activists arrested in Karachi for killing Dr Adib-ul-Hasan Rizvi & Dr Zafar Naqvi of Malir and others



June 14: Lashkar-e-Jhangvi activist confesses to killing 6 Shia leaders



May 16: Critically wounded brother of a local Shia leader in Hyderabad



May 15: Advocate Syed Sardar Jafary, President of Voice of Shia Organisation shot dead in Karachi



May 15: Killer of Magistrate Syed Fida Husain, his daughter Batool and gunman, held in Gujranwala



May 3: Advocate Malik Ibrar Hussain shot dead in Toba Tek Singh



May 2: Syed Sibtain Hasan Dosa and two others shot dead in Karachi



April 28: TJP activist Shahbaz Hussain Shirazi shot dead in Chishtian



April 26: Advocate Syed Farrukh Birjees Haider Tirmizi and another shot dead in Khanewal



April 19: Iqbal Hussain shot dead in Multan



April 12: 17 people killed in an attack on a Majlis in Malohwali. Attock



April 7: TJP leader Syed Waqar Hussain Naqvi shot dead along with his son and driver




Year 1999



 October 7: Aun Mohammad Rizvi of PTV was shot dead in Rawalpindi



October 1: 9 Shot Dead in Malir Imambargah in Karachi



September 30: Advocate Ejaz Rasoolnagri killed in sectarian attack



September 28: Advocate Khurshid Anwar advocate, his daughter Ume Laila and his guard shot dead near Bannu




Year 1998



October 07: Ijaz Hussain shot dead in Khanewal



September 29: Police Constable Maqbool Hussain shot dead in Multan



September 22: Five shot dead in attack on Majlis near Multan



August 05:  Quaid e Millat e Jafaria, Allama Arif Hussain Al Hussaini was brutally murdered in Peshawar while he was going for Fajar prayers.Remembering Shaheed Allama Arif Hussain



March 30: 3 Shias shot dead in Multan



February 21: Two Iranian Engineers shot dead in Karachi



January11: 22 Shias massacred in Lahore





Year 1997


November 03: Two brothers, Aulad Hussain Shah and Baqar Hussain Naqvi killed in Sialkot



May 6: SSP Ashraf Marth and his driver Tabbasum Zamir shot dead



February 20: Seven, including Iranian diplomat, gunned down at Iranian Centre in Multan




Year 1996



September 12: Allama Mureed Abbas Yazdani shot dead in Islamabad




Year 1995



March 09:10 killed and 22 wounded in an attack on a Shia mosque




Year 1994


September 12: Dr Abul Qasim Jiwa murdered in Nazimabad, Karachi





Year 1990



December 19: Agha-i-Sadiq Ganji killed in Multan



(Disclaimer: This article is from Shia South Asian Outlook e-Monthly and  Shia News are not responsible for the contents of this article.)



Maoist insurgency 

State responsibility and crisis of conscience

  Maoist insurgency 

GlobalomNet Media Service





Since the end of the cease-fire between the Government of Nepal and Maoists and the declaration of a national State of Emergency on 26 November 2001, the Royal Nepal Army (RNA) have engaged Maoist terrorists across rural Nepal.


This is an unpredictable time. Bomb attacks in major population centres across the country, including Kathmandu and the Kathmandu valley, are increasing. Maoists seeking to ambush security force convoys have mined roads and bridges, in particular in remoter parts of the country. Army patrols and other government targets have been attacked, often by huge numbers of Maoist rebels. Nighttime curfews have been declared in a number of towns and districts at short notice. Army and police checkpoints are frequently encountered, resulting in extended journey times.


The Royal Nepal Army reported killing 62 Maoists last in early March in the Dolpa district in a joint exercise with police forces. The operation was one of the biggest actions taken against the insurgents since the declaration of Emergency last November. The Dolpa district, in Nepal's western mid-hills, is considered to be one of the Maoists' strongholds.


The authorities in Nepal said on March 28, ten Maoist rebels have been killed in separate incidents.


A defence ministry spokesman said three of the rebels -- all women -- had been killed in a security operation in the western district of Lamjung on Wednesday.


Three more rebels were killed in Jajarkot district, and another four at other locations.


In the western district of Kaski, rebels killed two female members of a soldier's family in a bomb attack on their house.


On 20 March, authorities announced that they had killed another 25 Maoists in the previous 24-hours. The insurgents are reportedly active in approximately two-thirds of Nepal's 75 districts and have called a five-day strike in Kathmandu for the first week of April. On 19 March, Amnesty International released a report criticising both the Maoists and the Government for excessive use of lethal force.


The Maoist insurgency of Nepal has been getting brutal. The rebels stormed the district headquarters of Achham in far-west Nepal, wiping out a military barrack as well as a police post, and decamped with a loot of more than 20 million rupees and a cache of the army’s automatic weaponry. Nearly two hundred people died. Within a week, another police post fell, this time in the central hills, and the swarm of Maoists butchered more than thirty policemen. Even more brutal than these massacres of security personnel (many of whom were executed) was the burning of a bus carrying passengers on their way home for Id-ul-Joha. Among those burned alive were children and women. This outrage seems to have alienated even the Kathmandu intelligentsia, which harbours a soft corner for the rebels bent upon establishing a ‘republican’ state.





State responsibility and crisis of conscience

Dr. Shreedhar Gautam



The Maoist attack on the police and military barracks in Achham and Salyan districts recently and the endorsement of the state of emergency for three more months by the House of Representatives on February 21 have once again impelled us to take an in-depth look at the concept of democracy and the form of the present crisis.


Since 1990, we in Nepal have been familiar with the term democracy as a do it yourself doctrine. The implicit meaning of democracy is choosing for yourself. Liberty and equality are its distinctive objectives. Fraternity is another concept that goes along with democracy, with an indication that a democratic system promotes a sense of responsibility. But if we make an objective analysis of the last 12 years of our democratic experiment, we will find only a small group of power-seekers playing the chess-like game of politics for their own benefit. The game of power politics has been so naked that in this respect Nepal has surpassed the military dictatorship in many Third World countries. There has been little effect on the lives of the majority whose sufferings have not been lessened by the frequent change of power in Singh Durbar over the last 12 years.


The current national scenario suggests the state and society moving dangerously towards head on conflict. Over the years we have not seen any sign of state - society rapport. And no country can hope for good governance in the absence of healthy balance between civil society and political state. The lack of a progressive polity all these years is to be traced to the existing nature of our state, which has functioned in an authoritarian way dressed in democratic garb.


The way the state of emergency has been ratified vividly shows how Parliament has been made a rubber stamp citing the will of the people. While endorsing the state of emergency, the state i.e. the concerned political parties through whom the political state functions, should have made a sincere introspection over their own past record and over the causes of the state’s failure in maintaining a healthy balance in society. But nothing of this sort happened. Already the alienated segments of society are severely hurt by neglect from the political state and terrorist manifestation in the form of ultra-leftist violence. There is likelihood of mass discontent erupting if the state aggravates the situation further.


The crux of the problem since the restoration of the multiparty democracy is the political leaders who have misused the state’s political authority. They have undermined the power of the people who are greater than them and are also the creator of the state. The country is facing anarchy, because the executive has been operating with the help of the parliamentary branch without seeking the backing of civil society. It is an essential nature of a democratic country to acknowledge that the state has no higher power than the people or civil society. Our political leaders have completely forgotten that political structure is a mere creation of the people. We, in Nepal, as a people, made a tryst with destiny to restore a multiparty democracy with utmost concern for the welfare of every member of society. So it is paramount that leaders are sensitive to the values of harmony and the stability of the nation as a collective social entity. But to our great dismay these leaders have glossed over the need of balance in society. The ruling elite seems oblivious to the fact that if society is self-divided or if there is clash between different sections of society, the state suffers in its representative might and thereby democracy perishes.


It is in this background that there is an urgent need to preserve the homogeneity of our society. The state of emergency shows there is a clash of interest between two groups and this development could destroy the fabric of democratic norms. The present disruption of social coherence is bound to lead to political disunity of various natures. The situation should not be allowed to exceed the limits through our reckless action. We are now facing a society - versus - state crisis.


Moreover, we have to be extra vigilant in the context of global capitalism. Global corporations in Nepal are also active and they are notorious for selling the soul of society to exploitative forces. This is the period for all responsible social organizations and political parties to come into constructive play. The growing interference of multinational companies on the one hand, and the frustration of a majority of the people with government are the direct result of the failure of the state. State authority has become purchasable with the rapid increase of corruption. There are groups within the state using money power. The Maoist uprising is linked to the surrender syndrome of state organs and the rulers before the political Mafia who are responsible for undermining our society and our national pride.


If the government still continues to withdraw from the public welfare process, different forms of terror groups can emerge. Gradually but systematically government schools, colleges, hospitals and means of transportation are being either closed down or privatised. This is a very disturbing sign. The well off can go to costly hospitals and so-called glorious private educational institutions; but the suffering majority will feel further left out. Such developments can force the disgruntled to seek justice in the streets, instead of the courts.


If our democracy is to redeem its tryst with destiny, a code of ethics must become the vogue in public life. The government should opt for consensus and the contentment of the lowliest. Government should realize that arbitrary acts are not compatible with democratic norms. It should seek dialogue with all disgruntled groups in society, including the Maoists. The executive, with the help of parliament, has taken a decision to ratify the state of emergency. But in the absence of togetherness between society and the state or without evolving a viable harmony functionally involving all affected parties, rule of law cannot be established in society even under emergency powers. In our case corruption has hijacked democracy and it survives only in name or in mere ritualistic celebration as on Falgun 7 every year. The majority of people feel that the terrorism of bribery and corruption has touched unprecedented levels and it is no less harmful than the terrorism unleashed by ultra leftists. Fearful of the government in the absence of transparency and accountability, people like to be left alone rather than look to the state for any help. As long as the present scenario remains unchanged, few will believe in the possibility of a rational social order with maximum security to the most vulnerable segments of society.


The present sorry state of governance reminds us of Plato, who wished a country to be governed by an elite of philosophers with sound and healthy reason. He was slightly sceptical of democracy as it required cent percent literacy and awareness among the people. Likewise, Rousseau must have given the slogan of ‘Back to Nature’ after losing faith in man’s capacity to lead an organized or well-ordered life. The idea of natural man against the established socio political order appealed to the culturally sick and bored of France in the 18th century. Marx, on the other hand, applied his theory in terms of economic force. He thought revolution necessary for the ethical health of the people. But the agenda of politics typical of our country is largely self-serving. Political leaders never care to learn from people of vision who set an example in the past by sacrificing personnel comforts to serve humanity. They are busy with the dirty tricks of power play. What we are facing is a crisis of conscience. So, it is not corruption alone, it is conscience also . Will the politicians listen to the cry of this hour?


(Source: Kantipur Online)