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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 101

New armed groups sprout up in Nepal

By M Rama Rao in New Delhi

New Delhi, 01June (Asiantribune.com): Even as the Nepali Maoists have formally laid down their arms last November and decks are cleared for elections to the first Constitution Assembly, more and more other armed outfits are emerging putting a question mark over the sustainability of the fragile peace process in the Himalayan country.

Nepalese Home Ministry sources are quoted as saying that at least nine disgruntled groups have started taking up arms or have announced their intention to unleash violence to secure their interests. Officials said most of these groups are active in the Terai region, while a couple of others are trying to establish themselves in Kathmandu and other parts of the country, a report said Friday.

Terai is presently dominated by the two factions of Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM); other active in the belt are Terai Cobra, Janabadi Ganatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JGTMM), and Madhesi Mukti Tigers (MMT).

Not much is known about the Terai Cobra. This little known group made its presence felt by killing truck driver in Madhuwan area of Sarlahi district. It has vowed to launch an armed secession struggle for an independent Terai state. Its other plank is opposition to the presence of hill-origin people in the area.

Terai Cobra distributed pamphlets in Bara, Parsa, Rautahat, and Sarlahi districts outlining its 'philosophy'.

The chief of this outfit identifies himself as Nagaraj but he remains a mystery figure. The group claims its headquarters is based in the southern town of Birgunj.

Led by one Sanjaya Chouhan, the JGTMM is said to be active in Bara district while MMT led by Sher Singh Rajput is expanding its network in all the 20 Terai districts, including Banke in mid-western Nepal.

Local media reports quote the senior police officials to say that these names could be pseudonyms.

Latest entrants are Nepal Defense Army (NDA) and Nepal Janatantrik Party (NJP); both are known to be pro-Palace groups and are armed. Primarily they are targetting Maoist offices in remote places. They say their struggle is 'to retain constitutional monarchy and multiparty democracy in Nepal".

Led by Rana Bahadur Chanda 'Samrat', NJP has grabbed attention when it planted powerful pressure cooker bombs at the residences of Krishna Pahadi and Dr Devendra Raj Pandey, two leading figures of the Citizens Movement for Democracy and Peace (CMDP) on March 8. NJP is believed to be active in Kailali and Kanchanpur, besides Kathmandu.

Likewise, NDA also came to lime light in March, when it placed bombs at the premises of a leading media house and McDowell's factory in Biratnagar on March 26.

- Asian Tribune -

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