Abduction and subsequent murder of Rajendra Shrestha, 54, of Miklajung Rural Municipality-1 Morang district by the Netra Bikram Chand-led underground outfit named as Communist Party of Nepal has not only shocked and terrified the locals but raises suspicions of armed conflicts in the country. Shrestha, principal of Saraswati Basic School in Ramite of the rural municipality, was abducted by the cadres of the outfit from his cowshed, taken him about a kilometer away at Barkhe jungle and subsequently murdered on December 25. The outfit’s Mechi-Koshi bureau has taken the responsibility of the murder stating that the party ‘took action’ against Shrestha as retaliation for being an informant to the police and helping them in the arrest of party leaders and cadres. The family members as well as the neighbors of the Shrestha have said that he was retaliated him for denying donations as of their demands. Whatever, the reasons were there behind the murder; it has reminded not only the murder of Muktinath Adhikari, a Lamjung-based high school headmaster in 2002 for refusing to play the game as per the party's demands but also raised the ghost of a renewed conflict in the country.
Though the Maoist had come to mainstream politics following the People's Movement II in 2006, and the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2007, the hardliners of the then Maoist party including the Chand led outfit has resorted violence from the very beginning of its formation in 2014. The outfit had begun to kill people, bomb blasts, extortions and other kinds of violence across the country as the Maoist had done in the past reminding of the decade long insurgency. Though the outfit does not use the Maoist tag anymore, its activities are similar to those of the Maoist party that led the decade-long war ensuing over 13,000 dead, 1,333 disappeared and hundreds of thousands displace. Though the outfit has been terrorizing the people across the country by resembling the acts of the former Maoists, the state has yet to take the issue seriously. The murder of the schoolteacher has come at the time when the incumbent Nepal Communist Party (NCP) led government has become failure in every fronts giving space to some forces including the Chanda led outfit for calling to scrap the current political system. Even though the murder of the schoolteacher is crime against humanity and fall against the law of the land and that has to be treated accordingly, the incident is linked to the failure of the incumbent government. The government has failed not only to govern the country but to make a proper assessment of the political and security dimensions of the outfit.
The disgusting forces including the Chanda led outfit has been trying to capitalize on the public discontent brought by the failure of the incumbent government. The outfit’s radicalism might take roots in rural villages of the country if the government still fails to guarantee security of people and deliver on development, corruption control and good governance. The political parties, particularly the ruling NCP should realize that no forces would be able even to raise their head if the government had worked for the people, ensured good governance and controlled corruption. As political parties, including the ruling NCP have learned enough lesions from the decade long Maoist insurgency and the peace process for the successful management of political violence, there should not be delayed to ensure the safety of the people by charting out a comprehensive plan to bring the disgusting forces to the dialogue table to restore peace in the country. As the government has failed even to control the violent activities of the Chanda led outfit as claimed Prime Minister Oli in March last year, the government and the ruling NCP should make a ground clear to bring the outfit in the dialogue table by treating it as a political force. Likewise, the Chanda led outfit should shun the violence by characterizing oneself as a political force realizing to the fact that Nepali people, who have already suffered violence and terror for more than a decade, will not support politics of violence and terror.