The Maoists killed yet another city mayor, after accusing him of not following their orders. First, they killed the mayor of Birganj, Gopal Giri, for refusing to pay extortion money. They have now shot Mayor Harka Bahadur Gurung of Pokhara.
It is obvious they are vying for a one party autocratic system. No matter how much they talk about supporting democracy, it is easy to judge from their actions whether they mean it or not. Besides the executions of the two mayors, they attacked and severely wounded the mayor of Butwal, Punaram Pokhrel, and targeted numerous VDC officials.
In the last nine years of the 'people's war', many political leaders, students, teachers and journalists as well as innocent farmers lost their lives because they disagreed with the Maoists. For a long time, the Maoists tried to put an end to local bodies. They have destroyed many VDCs and killed people's representatives.
Just after former Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa announced his intention to fill in vacant government posts in the village wards, the Maoists intensified their threats, abductions and killings. This led to the government officers assigned to the local bodies resigning en masse. Those who have not quit their jobs were threatened with death.
The Maoists have constantly claimed that they are forced to take up arms to restore democracy. They say they will respect individuals who have different political views than their own when they form the government. But in reality, things are just the opposite. They have formed their own 'people's government' in Maoist dominated areas and non-Maoists have not been given the chance to participate. This only reflects their desire to form an autocratic system in the country. If they are really fighting the war for the Nepali people, then the least they could do is stop killing innocent, unarmed people.