India asks Nepal about clandestine Maoist training

November 6th, 2010 - 3:31 pm ICT by IANS  

By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, Nov 6 (IANS) The Indian government has taken up with the Nepal government the issue of Nepal’s former Maoist guerrillas providing arms and political training to India’s Maoists and has provided what it says are details about the training.

The Indian embassy in Kathmandu sent a letter to Nepal’s Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala, Home Minister Bhim Rawal, and the foreign and home secretaries, saying several senior Maoist leaders, including two sitting members of parliament, have signed a clandestine pact with three Indian Maoist leaders, agreeing to provide training to Indian Maoists.

According to the embassy letter, which was leaked to the Nepali media Saturday, the Maoist leaders include Barshaman Pun Ananta, who is one of the commanders of the Maoists’ People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and an elected member of parliament, and fellow lawmaker Haribol Gajurel.

The Indian leaders are, according to the letter, a man identified only as Pankaj from Sitamarhi district in India’s Bihar state, Binod Gurung and Rajjak Ansari. Ansari is alleged to be based in Nepalgunj on the Indo-Nepal border area and running a fake Indian currency note racket.

The pact, said to have been signed in Sarlahi district in southern Nepal, also agreed to send PLA members to Motihari and Sitamarhi districts in Bihar to train Indian Maoists, the letter alleges.

It also claims Nepal Maoists provided arms training to nearly 300 Indian Maoists in two phases this year on Nepal’s soil.

In June, a training camp was set up in the Harikhola forest close to Nepal’s industrial town Butwal, the letter says. A member of the terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba, Latif Khan, came from Pakistan to provide training in making explosives, it adds.

Almost two months later, a second training camp for nearly 50 Indian Maoists was held in one of the satellite camps of the PLA, the letter says.

The Sainamaina satellite camp in Rupandehi district, close to the Indian border, houses the 4th division of the PLA and remains under the supervision of a UN agency, like the 27 other PLA cantonments.

The letter says about 50 Indian Maoists were trained in the Sainamaina camp in August.

Nepal’s Maoists have dismissed the allegations, calling them part of the Indian propaganda to keep them out of the government.

They have said that while as fellow communists, they empathise with Maoists worldwide, they however have no actual links with the Indian Maoists.

The Indian letter comes on the eve of a proposed visit to India by Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda. The former revolutionary is said to be trying to make his peace with India after his recent trip to China where the Chinese leaders reportedly asked him not to needle India.

(Sudeshna Sarkar can be contacted at sudeshna.s@ians.in)

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