From The Nepali Press
Samaya, 2 February
FROM ISSUE #284 (03 FEB 2006 - 09 FEB 2006) | TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Just when the government's ban on demos, protest rallies and mass meetings have become common in urban areas, dense jungles even in remote areas have also come under the spell of such prohibitions. The jungles in and around several villages of Palpa district are a case in point. The Palpa district administration has issued a notice prohibiting not only protest rallies and mass meetings but also normal movement of people in the jungles here until further notice. The ban has also come in effect in the jungles of Nawalparasi and Rupandehi districts because they share borders. The local administration says the ban is aimed at containing Maoist activities but it is ordinary people who collect fodder who are bearing the brunt." Security officials say the forests are used by Maoists to hold meetings before launching attacks against government bases. But, villagers are not convinced. "Security is fine. But, how can we collect firewood," asked housewife Radha Thapa, "we need alternatives to survive."Security officials defend their moves saying that they are for the people's good. So far civilians have not been caught in the crossfire. But, many including children have been injured in explosions.