From The Nepali Press
Jana Aastha, 1 March
FROM ISSUE #288 (03 MARCH 2006 - 09 MARCH 2006) | TABLE OF CONTENTS
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As the 6 April deadline given by Prachanda for a \'decisive' hit on Kathmandu nears, the army is getting intelligence reports that Maoist forces are amassing in and around the Valley as well as Biratnagar, Pokhara, Hetauda, Butwal and Nepalganj. According to these reports, a Maoist special force directly under the rebel special central commander Barshaman Pun (Ananta) is already in the Valley. Going by past patterns of Maoist attacks and recent battles it is easy to predict what will happen next. Till last year Maoist forces were scattered across the country making sporadic attacks from Ilam to Kailali to prove that they had a nationwide reach. But the Maoists have now withdrawn from the rural heartland and are concentrating their eastern and western forces to the centre of the country. That is why the midwestern districts are quiet and recent skirmishes happened along the highways or in the vicinity of the midwestern districts. The four divisions of the Maoist western command are now concentrated in the Nepal-Butwal-Bhairawa area. The eastern divisions are adding to the special central command in charge of the valley to focus on the entry points to the capital as seen in recent attacks in Thankot, Dadhikot and Kabhre. In recent speeches, Prachanda has also spoken of simultaneous attacks on three big army barracks and even if only one of the attacks is successful it will spread such panic that soldiers will run flee or surrender in subsequent attacks. In case all the attacks are successful, the survivors will regroup and continue attacks. The Maoist strategy seems to be to prepare for their big attacks with the announced blockade of Kathmandu from 14 March and an indefinite nationwide banda from 3 April. The rebels have perfected the strategy through a dozen or so attacks in the past two years on district capitals by pinning down army bases so they don't have to be distracted by attacking police stations, CDO offices and government buildings. Based on these intelligence reports, the Home Ministry has sent circulars to all police and government units in the Valley to be on maximum alert.