Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Madhes mess


It looks as if Upendra Yadav, who has been accused of forming alliances with the palace and betraying the madhesi movement, may be saved by Minister of Peace and Reconstruction Ram Chandra Poudel. The palace is said to be instrumental in this.

Human rights activists have filed charges of murder against Yadav for the Gaur massacre. Since then, the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum has kept a low profile, in contrast to their strident demands in the past, including the resignation of Home Minister Krishna Prasad Situala. A toned-down MJF is now saying that it is ready to talk to the government. This is being seen as an attempt by Yadav to dodge responsibility for the deaths in Gaur.

Our sources say Yadav had to flee to the border town of Bairganiya because even people within his own organisation have stopped trusting him. When news of Yadav's alliances with the royal palace and Indian criminals became public, the MJF broke into three different groups, one of which is working hard to remove Yadav as the chairman of the forum.

Bijaya Singh, chair of the Madhesi Student's Union and Madhesi Intellectual's Forum, and Rajendra Raya of the Madhesi Dalit Forum have publicly announced that their organisations have split from the MJF. Similarly Madhesi Youth Forum chair Jitendra Sen has said repeatedly that the MJF failed because of Upendra Yadav's leadership.

At a recent MJF central committee meeting there was a heated discussion about the issue of Yadav's allegiances. The central committee decided to keep Yadav on as chairman only because the 27 April deadline for the registration of parties [to contest the constituent assembly elections] made it complicated to appoint a new leadership in time.

But even this point is contested, with general secretary Ram Kumar Sharma arguing that the organisation should not be registered as a political party, in order to avoid conflict with madhesi leaders in other parties. He believes the MJF should remain a pressure group.

The Maoists have warned Ram Chandra Poudel to not encourage the Forum. When they learnt about Poudel's recent talks with Yadav, they asked Prime Minister Koirala not to make Poudel the coordinator of the talks committee.

The Maoists won sympathy after Gaur, but the incident has caused a rift within the party. The Madhesi Janamukti Morcha's Satya Narayan Bhagat and Prabhu Sah have accused Matrika Yadav of providing Upendra Yadav with information about how their organisation was planning to launch an attack in Gaur using Young Communist League members and fighters from the Chitwan cantonment.

Yadav thus hired professional sharpshooters from Bihar. These criminals were the ones who hunted down YCL activists and fighters from the Chitwan cantonment in Gaur and killed them. The Forum says 11 fighters from Chitwan were killed, but neither the Maoists nor UNMIN have confirmed that.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)