From The Nepali Press
Jana Aastha, 1 February
FROM ISSUE #284 (03 FEB 2006 - 09 FEB 2006) | TABLE OF CONTENTS
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At a time when RNA spokesman Brig Gen Nepal Bhushan Chand announced that the army had been mandated to provide security in the upcoming municipal elections, the Royal Nepali Army has begun to ask for votes. But the vote the army is asking for has nothing to do with the elections. It has sought the vote regarding Maoist infiltration of the capital. The army has introduced a ballot on its website asking visitors to vote by answering this question: Do you think the Maoists have infiltrated the capital? The question has three possible answers: Yes, No, and Don't know. The website (www.rna.mil.np) shows that 83 visitors had cast their votes by Sunday. Of those, 61 percent had voted suggesting there was Maoist infiltration in the capital. Thirty visitors thought there was no infiltration and eight percent had said that they did not know. The army has suspected infiltration of Maoists in the capital, especially after the rebels attacked the police stations in Thankot, Dadhikot and other places in the Kathmandu Valley on 14 January. The suspicion has been further solidified after unidentified gunmen shot at and injured mayoral candidate Dal Bahadur Rai in Lalitpur district on 31 January. At a time when the army has become vigilant about this infiltration, the rebels are said to have prepared a central command to surround the capital, boosting their presence in 13 districts around the Valley. East of Kathmandu, the Maoists have established a special regional bureau covering Dolakha, Ramechhap, Sindhupalchok and Kabhre with Agni Sapkota (Kanchan) has been designated as its chief. In the west, Chitwan, Gorkha, Dhading, Nuwakot and Rasuwa districts have been included in a special regional bureau headed by Hitraj Pandey (Uttam). South of Kathmandu they have set up a bureau that will use Makwanpur, Bara, Parsa and Rautahat as bases to launch attacks on the capital. The rebels have established a special valley bureau covering Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur and some parts of Makwanpur district.