The security forces' indifference towards the deaths of ordinary citizens is apparent in the mounting toll of non-combatant deaths. If they continue to hurt more citizens and disregard human rights, this will only place the security forces in a negative light. It won't be long before civilians start to question the true objective of their operations. To be sure, this is not an easy job for the security forces, what with the Maoists brutally using women, children and other civilians as human shields in their assaults. Assassinations, oppression and unspeakable atrocities are common to the rebels, but sadly, these unjust actions are not confined solely to them. State terror is not and should not be the answer to organised terrorism.
Recent recklessness by security forces in Bhairawa and Pokhara must not be taken lightly. It is also inappropriate for the security forces to force villagers in Pandaun in Kailali to abandon their homes. Such actions will only help the Maoists to turn the people against the army. How does the depopulation of innocent villagers in Pandaun actually help the security effort? The army's job is to protect citizens and maintain peace and security, not spread more fear and violence. There is a lesson here from the government's Kilo Sierra II operation in the early days of the insurgency which fuelled the spread of the People's War.
If the security forces continue on the same path, it will give rise to mass unrest against the state. There must be a transparent process of punishing the guilty in recent atrocities. Internationally, the government faces potential embarrassment from the global community as word of human rights violations spread. If the state tries to protect, hide or whitewash these crimes, we will regard it as an anti-citizen policy and question the true intentions of the state.