The Maoists have been busy with real estate. Until just a few days they were still looking for a suitable premises for their headquarters. That's been taken care of, and they've also decided that chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and leader Baburam Bhattarai and their families will live in Nayabajar, Kusibu. Dahal, Bhattarai, and their families have already moved into the house.
The neighbours had no idea who was moving in until they noticed Maoist \'soldiers' providing security all around the house. There is said to be discontentment about this development, because the Maoist \'army' starts training early in the morning, and their shouts awake the entire neighbourhood. Some who live nearby have filed complaints with the police saying they are tired of listening to the women soldiers yelling in the morning as they practice nunchuks. Others are giving in to curiosity and peer into the comrades' compound from their rooftops and windows, hoping to catch a glimpse of the PLA's early morning rituals.
The Maoists promised the landlord, Uttam Thakali, a businessman from Mustang, advance payment of six months' rent. However, our sources say that only three months rent has been paid up, and that the leadership has asked Thakali to trust them and assured him that the rest will be paid soon. Although no paperwork has been signed, the rent of the house is understood to be Rs 55,000 per month.
The army lives in the lawn under a big tent, the Dahal family lives on the third floor, and the Bhattarais on the second. The ground floor is occupied by high ranking commanders and those responsible for the security of the leaders. The soldiers roam the streets around the house, and the neighbours say they are scared of the men with guns who stand outside the house.