From The Nepali Press
Deshantar, 7 March
FROM ISSUE #187 (12 MARCH 2004 - 18 MARCH 2004) | TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa calls the massive Maoist attack in Bhojpur an \'ordinary and inevitable' incident that cost the lives of 32 security personnel. Such light-hearted treatment of the huge tragedy has already demoralised the security forces, says an army source. "It's irresponsible to call such a huge incident an ordinary event," says former Inspector General of Police, Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan. But this was no ordinary attack. The Maoists had been planning this for a long time and news of the attack had already spread, which was the reason all of them were absent from their offices: Major Hari Bahadur Basnet (the army division chief of the district headquaters), DSP Suresh KC (the chief of district police office) and the chief district officer were all out of the district. The Bhojpur incident shows that the security agencies have been careless. There was no high security alert or preparedness despite prior knowledge of an imminent attack. Sources say that the main reason for this tragedy was lack of countermeasures despite this knowledge. The incident is a reminder of the one that occurred in Aiselukharka on 22 February which left three security personnel dead and 18 injured. "This was the same group which also attacked Bhojpur," says the source. The only difference was that the Maoists were defeated and pushed back after the forces launched attacks from night vision helicopters.