Ex-Nepal Maoist child soldiers lock leaders in party office
Former Maoist child soldiers, discontent with the party for discarding them unceremoniously during the peace process, have padlocked the office of CPN (Maoist-Centre) of Nepal Prime Minister Prachanda, trapping seven of the leaders inside the building here. The leaders of the party which leads the government have been forced put inside the office since Monday.
The former minor guerrilla fighters, most of them now in their 20s and struggling to find jobs and raise their children, have threatened to continue the padlocking until the ruling party begins implementing the agreements reached with them. They demand proper rehabilitation and compensation.
“We lost our childhood fighting for the party. Now our leaders enjoy the power while we are left to struggle for a living,” said Lenin Bista, who heads the Discharged People’s Liberation Army Struggle Committee (DPLASC).
At least six of the leaders said they were unable to leave the party office as its main door remained padlocked.
The United Nation Mission in Nepal had disqualified 4,008 soldiers of the Peoples Liberation Army of then-rebel CPN (Maoist) saying they were minors, and as late recruits.
During the verification that ended in December 2007, it was found that 2,972 guerrillas were minors, while 1,036 were recruited into the Nepal Army under the army integration process in accordance with Comprehensive Peace Accord signed in 2006, when the Maoists joined politics by laying down arms.