There is no government in any of the five districts of Karnali zone. Besides the army and security forces, other government agencies are nowhere to be seen in Humla, Jumla, Kalikot, Mugu or Dolpa. "The lack of government units has made it easy for the Maoists to increase their activities and terrorise the locals," says UML's Dilli Bahadur Mahat, who just returned from a tour of Karnali. All the police chiefs, CDOs and security personnel leave their offices and take refuge at the army barracks before dusk. "The CDO and police chief stay at the barracks all night and return to their office only in the morning," says Mahat.
Maoists have destroyed all the suspension bridges at Kalikot, Humla and Mugu. The government, meanwhile, has stopped supplies of medicines, food and other necessities from district headquarters for fear of Maoist looting. "Famine is gradually spreading in the villages," says UML member Chandra Bahadur Shahi from Mugu. The rebels have disrupted road maintenance in Jumla-Surkhet, Hilsa-Simikot and have also closed down schools. When the UML group met local Maoists and reminded them of the Maoist leaders' commitment not to attack infrastructure, they got this reply: "We are not taking any orders from anywhere, we will do whatever we like in our area."