Nepali Times
Special Security Plan falters


Police make public weapons recovered from Kirant Workers Party cadres

Eastern Nepal has seen little respite from strikes called by armed groups following the implementation of the Rs 3.8 billion Special Security Plan (SSP) a year ago. Looting, arson, murder, kidnapping, seizure of property, and extortion is rampant, and people are living in fear.

On 4 May, Kirant Workers Party (KWP) launched a successful attack on a police post in Khotang district. They looted five 303 rifles and one Chinese pistol from Nunthala Police Post, the first such incident since the launch of the SSP. Immediately afterwards, the party torched the offices of Hasposh and Duwagadi VDC of Sunsari district and continued with its forced donation drive. KPWP plans to extort Rs 300,000 a year from each VDC within its sphere of influence, and party president Bibas 'Bidrohi' is candid: "We will be harsh with those who refuse. We will form 'people's governments' in different places and continue our military activities."

VDC secretaries have been leaving villages to take shelter in district headquarters, and feel the government has not done anything for their security. Vice President of the VDC Rights Protection Centre Ram Kumar Yadav claims demands for donations and threats forced them to leave their post. "You can hardly find secretaries in the VDCs now," he says, and not without reason. A bomb was defused recently in the house of Gokarna Prasad Koirala, VDC Secretary of Triyuga Municipality of Udaypur district. The Joint Ethnic Liberation Front claimed responsibility.

On 14 May, police found 3 pistols, a homemade gun, 10 shotguns, 14 rounds of magnum bullets, and one SLR magazine in Tirahut temple of Trikol VDC, Saptari district. It has not been determined who these arms belong to. Udaypur District Police Chief Police Manoj Kumar Yadav complains, "Terrorism activities can never be controlled without the help of the people. But those affected hesitate to inform us, as they fear being targeted."

The first few months of the SSP looked encouraging. It set up 10 security base camps of the Nepal Police in the eastern Tarai and 13 camps of the Armed Police Force in hilly districts (see box). The KPWP's donation drive, which had caused such havoc in the eastern hills, flagged. Bhisma Prasain, police chief of the eastern region, claims incidents of kidnapping and extortion declined significantly. In 2008/9, he says, there were 268 incidents of kidnapping. This went down to 46 with the introduction of the SSP, and except for a solitary case where ransom was paid, all victims were rescued by the police. Further, murders are down to two this year from thirteen in the previous year, and there have been only 34 strikes called (down from 166  last year).

With police cracking down, some armed groups have been forced to merge or cease activities altogether. The Limbuwan National Liberation Forum and Upper Kirant and Limbuwan Liberation Army have all but disappeared while the Limbuwan and Khambuwan Fronts have merged. About 20 cadres of KPWP, including its secretary, have been arrested with arms. But despite claims of success on the part of the authorities, extortion continues.

The regional and ethnic fronts of the east, who are fighting for their own states, have been opposed to the SSP from the very start. Spokesperson of the Khambuwan National Front, Rajan Bantawa, says, "This is a plan to sabotage our movement for liberation." He claims his group is already on a peaceful course to achieve this, but like other groups, their future strategy will depend on how government approaches the issue of security. They want the SSP to be withdrawn. Kumar Lingdel, president of the Democratic National Forum, says, "We have started training Limbuwan volunteers to fight on all fronts. If the government does not address our demand of an autonomous state, we will form a shadow government and even a parallel government."

Businessmen, too, are unhappy with the SSP. "The government has poured billions into the sand in the name of the security plan," says Dharan businessman Sitaram Acharya. "But we don't feel secure, extortion is getting worse, and we are afraid to speak up." General secretary of Sunsari district's Nepal Industries and Commerce Federation, Bijay Shrestha, agrees.

Analyst Kamal Tigela says the SSP is a paper plan, and has not had sustained impact. "The Maoists were the only group during the insurgency, now there are many such groups," he says.

Bhawani Baral, who has been closely studying the ethnic movements in the east, warns, "The SSP could boomerang if ethnic sentiments are not addressed properly. If the ethnic movement is not handled properly, it could lead to communal violence and a separatist movement.

Centre For Investigative Journalism

Armed groups in the eastern hills

Limbuwan volunteers train in Dharan
Khambuwan National Front
Khambuwan Democratic Front
Federal Limbuwan State Council (Kumar Lingden group)
Federal Limbuwan State Council (Sanju Hang Palungwa group)
Federal Limbuwan State Council (Revolutionary)
Upper Kirant Limbuwan National Forum
Kirant People's Workers Party
Khambuwan Combatant Party

Source: Home Ministry

Special Security Plan

Started: August 2009
Budget: Rs 3,800,100,000
Security base camps: 13
Eastern Tarai districts: 10
Eastern hill districts: 13
Control room vehicle (CRV): 14 (Sunsari, Morang industrial corridor)
Special Security Campaign: Mechi highway
Arms recovered: homemade guns/rifles: 63;
revolvers/pistols: 205; live bullets: 213 rounds

Source: Regional Police Office, Biratnagar

How do we get out of this hole?, PUBLISHER'S NOTE
New imbalance, PRASHANT JHA

1. DG
My kind of Limbuwan.
Limbus are in the Far Eastern Districts as per the last Census 2001 are as follows;
Taplejung-41.75 %
Panchthar-40.33 %                        Average of the three-39.515 %

Ilam-14.32 %                                   Average of four  -29.80 %                   
Dhankuta-13.72 %                            Average of five-26.82 %                                                       

Sunsari -2.85 %
Morang-4.38 %
Jhapa- 5.65 %                              Average of the eight-10.92 %

Add Sakhuwasabha the % will come still down.
The watershed of Tamuras a whole should be one entity; name should be one acceptable to all communities residing there.
Better will be to keep Arun and Tamur together if Rais and limbus will agree. There can be Swayatta units to help communities; but as every VDCis multi-culturalor ethnic , it has to cater to all lresidents.
Let our Limbubhais decide themselves.Stop bunds.l

2. Ichiro hang

It's not good sign of grooming different kind of armed group. However, government must listen their voice and concerned.

Federal Limbuwan State Council (Kumar Lingden group)
Federal Limbuwan State Council (Sanju Hang Palungwa group) are not armed group. It is a yellow journalism towards ethnic people, isn't it?, why most of media are against ethnic people, is it cause by bahunbad in media......................

3. DG
Nepalism is like Nihonism, it is difficult to express in words.
A Japanese lady, a Christian mission school product,may be married by Shinto rites,but her funeral service may be Buddhist.
In Kathmandu too there are communities who observe in the Himdu way through Hindu priest some rites like first part of funeral services or perform saptaha for the dead ancestors; and at the same time give  dana under a Buddhist vante or  perform later funeral services .But politicizing  too much  in the present days this has become uneasy thing for them.
Still their eclectic approach to ceremony shows at heart the only religion they truely believein is Nepalism like Nihonism for the Japanese.
Say what you like,when all is said and done ,we are all Nepalese.
This applies to the ones who have been enticed and converted to Christianity too;except for the first timers for some time.
Do anything but maintain co-existence and existing syncretism that is within us..

4. Pant,Dibakar,In the US
Its a proud and great products of so called new Nepal of socalled greatermost leaders.Enjoy all new Nepal lovers and enjoy more after the termination of united Nepal and merge into territory of another nation." Kin Runchhas Mangale Aaphnai Dhangale' Chrs up !

5. VK in DK
The maoist�s launch of the people�s war in the late 90�s has spread to a uncontrolable degree and now various groups are running around in a "wild-west" style cowboy action movie, but its real in which people die and suffer daily, we learnt that with a gun power comes and with money anything is possible, as corruption is so far spread and un-checked.
Talk about anti-feudalism but what what about gun-power, power by force, its the opposite of democracy, nepal never was a democracy desides in paper, as the political culture is non-democratic, but has been experimenting and severly failed.
The once peaceful nepal now is a breeding ground for south asian terrorism...and possibly international as well, the international links is very less examined but we live in a global world.

Of course i love my nepal and want to move back and set up a peaceful life there, but is this possible, chances for kidnappings, exhortion and corruption, etc, are far to high, while some in kathmandu can go out and eat for several thousand rupees per day others suffer and dont even have a grain of rice to eat, democracy in its essence has a notion of caring for ones neighbours, and a almost unselfish attitude of working but oh no, in nepal democracy has become a tool to exploit....even during the panchayat (im not saying that it was good) but one could easily travel over the country without to much hassle or danger...witout having to bribe every "official" or what ever person, now donation or i put a gun on ur head, at least threaten too...

we change system, parites etc, but never a truth and reconsiliation inquiery, as no one is capable of doing this as the shit has hit the fan and now it stinks all over.

when my foreign friends ask me about nepal i find myself telling them about the past, cuz the current is not so nice as to recomend anyone to actually come visit, i dont want my frineds to have a difficult time in nepal nor be robbed or looted, and military escort is not available nor should it be the way that i must travel with my own militia to secure the peace of my fellow friends.

ke garni....something must happen to change...perhaps a earth quake and foreign we can unite against one force instead of battling ourselfs and letting the rivers of blood of our brothers n sisters flow

is the government or any political party doing anything to stop this more then use force upon its own people?
people resort to extreme measures when all else fails, as it has done...
the border with india is wide open, more or less with china also though there is a natural barrier form the mountains...the government forces are poorly trained and corruption goes all the way up to the political party�s presidents...

by the means one comes to power, the same means one falls but in nepal today who cares....we speak about justice and equality but in ouor homes we still exploit and in soceity we learn that this is the way...

so it seems that i can make a more secure and better life away from nepal, in india perhaps then in nepal and this i find incredably sad.
and no i will not sacrifice my life when no one cares. if no one cares there can be no democracy.

democracy was never created by a gun but by people doing real efforts and educating the people, giving them opportunities instead of taking them away...

6. Battisputali
Where can I find government texts relating to the Special Security Plan? Are there  field manuals available relating to how this security strategy should be implemented on the ground?

Clearly, a mere police based strategy is not enough if insurgents threaten that they will "form parallel governments." A "whole of government" approach is necessary where not only the police but other government bodies and services are required to make local populations secure (absolutely important when a government is up against a complex insurgency) .The home ministry alone can't sustain security conditions.

Local government elections need to be held and these local bodies need to work together with the central home ministry (police, intelligence, the new CID unit) and other ministries (labor, forestry, finance, and some sort of central institution that looks at justice issues) to create a more comprehensive sense of security in local populations. This means: If insurgent groups are asking for local autonomy then create conditions where there is greater local autonomy (VDC elections+ programs that are created with VDC chiefs and trained bureaucrats from ministries working together..such as affirmative action, farming help,local infrastructure etc) . But, also have the force (and justice) component present which deals with criminal groups.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)