Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Maoist hit banks

In the third week of November Maoist rebels attacked Dang, Syangja and Solukhumbu and looted cash and jewellery totalling almost Rs 150 million from banks, financial institutions and cooperatives. According to information available to us, they looted almost Rs 89 million in cash and about Rs 56 million worth of gold, silver and other valuables. In addition to this, they took 20 guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition from the guards of the banks.

Salleri, Solukhumbu was attacked on Sunday (25 November) and the rebels also attacked the Rastriya Banijya Bank branch, looting Rs 15 million in cash and ornaments, and other valuables worth Rs 500,000. Bonds worth Rs 13 million set aside for government expenditure were taken , as well as four guns. The Maoists attacked both the district police station and the bank around midnight. A source told us on condition of anonymity that hundreds of Maoists attacked the bank, and asked the bank manager Sadanand Mehta to come and open the safe. Mehta told them that the safe could not be opened with his keys only, at which point they tried to break it open themselves. The Maoists then beat Mehta up and eventually succeeded in breaking open the safe. After looting the safe, the Maoists even took away the bank's curtains and bed sheets.

In an earlier attack in Gorahi, Dang, the Maoists looted a branch of the Nepal Bank Ltd (NBL) and a branch of the Agricultural Development Bank. In Narayanpur, they looted a branch of the Rastriya Banijya Bank, as well as other financial institutions and cooperatives. NBL sources say the rebels took away Rs 37 million in cash, Rs 25 million worth of valuables, a motorcycle, six guns and 50 rounds of ammunition from the Gorahi office. Of the Rs 37 million looted, Rs 20 million actually belonged to the Rastriya Banijya Bank. The rebels looted Rs 28 million from the Agricultural Development Bank and one 12-bore gun. From the bank in Narayanpur, they looted almost Rs 1.5 million and three guns.

That very day, the Maoists attacked Syangja's district headquarters Putali Bazaar, and also Waling town. They took away Rs 25 million in cash and valuables worth Rs 26 million from the branches of NBL and the Agricultural Development Bank. The Maosits also took Rs 6.5 million from the Putali Bazar NBL branch, from the only safe they managed to open. They tried to blow open a second safe with explosives, but only succeeded in burning its contents. The Maoists could not break open the other two safes, which contained close to Rs 20 million belonging to the Rastriya Bank and earmarked for government expenditure. Similarly, the rebels looted Rs 18 million cash and Rs 1.5 million in valuables from the NBL, Waling.

The Maoist rebellion has entered its sixth year, and is mostly financed by looting banks, financial institutions and cooperatives. Since the insurgency began, the Maoists have looted more than 20 branches of the NBL, the Agricultural Development Bank and the Rastriya Banijya Bank, and carried away cash and valuables totalling over Rs 250 million. More than 100 branches of these banks have had to be shut down or merged with other branches due to these attacks. The Maoists have attacked 110 offices of the Small Farmers Development Program of the Agricultural Development Bank .

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)