From The Nepali Press
Maoist’s odd guards
Sanghu, 19 January
FROM ISSUE #180 (23 JAN 2004 - 29 JAN 2004) | TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Kalikot - The Maoists have started using young mothers to work as sentry guards. Their job is to maintain strict vigilance for army patrols and immediately inform the rebels if security personnel are seen. A student who just returned from Surkhet spoke to us on condition of anonymity. He spoke of women placed as lookouts with newborn infants in their arms. He also saw the Maoists forcing young girls and boys to patrol villages with guns. A few were lucky to escape forced recruitment but most of the youth and men are forced to carry arms and join the Maoists. The old and these young mothers are trained to take on sentry detail. The student said some of the guards were given guns and grenades. "If we don't follow their orders, they will punish us severely," said a 60-year-old woman on a break. "The armed militants will have an easy escape. The ones who will die are innocent people like us." The villages of this district are clearly aware of Maoist tactics that don't hesitate to use old people and women as human shields. Mao Tse-Tung, whom the Nepali Maoists look up to, had given clear directives to his workers to "protect the women and children and treat them with respect".