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February 26, 2019 In maintaining silence over Chand outfit’s terror, Dahal sees an opportunity to rebuild his own image

In maintaining silence over Chand outfit’s terror, Dahal sees an opportunity to rebuild his own image

Days after the explosion outside the Ncell headquarters in Lalitpur that killed one person, and a series of arson attacks targeting telephone towers in a dozen different districts, the needle of suspicion pointed to the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal.

Earlier this week, the Chand party owned up to the attacks and apologised for the loss of life—but it stopped short of renouncing violence, saying the attack was part of an action against the “comprador capitalists”. The same day, Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa told the parliamentary State Affairs Committee that documents and other evidence obtained by the government showed that the Chand party was responsible for the attack.

However, Maoist leaders, who are now part of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) after their merger last year, have yet to make any comments on the attacks–they look akin to what the Maoists did in the initial days of the insurgency–perpetrated by the Chand outfit.

Some party insiders say the former Maoist party, led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal, is not too keen on pressing for immediate stern action against the Chand outfit.

“The fact that none of the Maoist leaders has refuted the act of violence shows they still hold a soft corner for the Chand party,” a Maoist leader told the Post on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.

At least two other Maoist leaders who are close to Dahal told the Post that a large section of the members of the party does hold sympathy for the Chand group, which was formed after breaking away from Dahal.

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