Police maintain tight surveillance over Chand outfit in Rolpa and DangThe district security committee of Rolpa said its search for Netra Bikram Chand is still on.
After arresting around three dozen leaders and cadres of the Chand outfit in Rolpa, the district security committee said on Tuesday they are searching for Netra Bikram Chand, the general secretary of the Chand’s faction of the Nepal Communist Party.
Chand, a firebrand Maoist leader during the conflict, had left the Maoist party led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal in 2012, along with two other senior leaders—Mohan Baidya and Ram Bahadur Thapa. The three leaders had accused Dahal of leaving the “people’s war” halfway when they joined the peace process in 2006.
In 2014, following disagreements over launching a new revolution, Chand left Baidya and Thapa to form his own party—the Communist Party of Nepal. But Thapa, two years later, returned to Dahal’s fold and is now the home minister, pitting him against Chand and his outfit.
The leaders of the Chand outfit went underground after the government branded Chand party as a criminal outfit and banned its activities in March.
"The violent activities of the party have decreased considerably after the arrest of its influential leaders, but the cadres continue to collect money from the local units," concluded the security committee.
The district authorities have been investigating if the local units and administrators financially supported the party.
Chand cadres were involved in burning down government vehicles, destroying telephone towers and other physical infrastructure on numerous occasions. But after the government ban, more than 1,000 Chand cadres have been arrested across the country. "Around three dozen of them have been arrested from Rolpa alone," Police said.
Police have already arrested former district in-charge of Ropla, Dal Bahadur Khatri, Jaya Prakash Roka and Santosh Subedi from different parts of the district. They have been kept at prisons in Dang and Rolpa.
Roka, who was arrested four months ago from the eastern part of Rolpa, has been kept in judicial custody in Rolpa prison.
Since the arrests, the morale of police has gone high, according to the Deputy Superintendent of Police Chitra Bahadur Gurung, the chief of Rolpa police.
"There is a legal provision to arrest anyone involved in violence," the DSP said. "We have received feedback that peace and security have been restored in the inner parts of the villages as well."
"The leaders of Chand outfit have been arrested to maintain peace and security in the district," said Laxman Dhakal, Chief District Officer of Rolpa.
Police have also arrested Chuda Mani Oli, the central committee member of Chand's outfit for the second time.
A few months ago, police arrested Chandra Bahadur Chand, the brother of Netra Bikram and one of the central leaders of the outfit. He has been kept in judicial custody in Dang.
As police have tightened the screw over the Chand outfit, the 21 high-profile leaders of the party arrested in October in Dang decided to remain in prison when they could have gone out by paying the bail amount of Rs15,000 each.
Justice Ritendra Thapa on Monday gave the verdict to release the prisoners on bail, but none of them paid the bail money. “Because they did not pay the bail amount, they are in prison,” superintendent of police Janak Bhattarai, the chief of Dang Police, said. “They will be released once they pay the amount."
The 21 leaders were arrested on the night of October 17 from a house at Magaraina in Rajpur Rural Municipality Ward No. 4, where they had come for a meeting. Police had found guns and explosive devices in the house.