Sunday, September 24, 2006

Rebel 'court' at temple premises

The Mahadev temple at Chandranigahapur in Rauthat district is crowded with people. However, none of the people at the shrine have come to pay homage to the god or to partake in any religious ceremony. These people are rather at the Maoists' "People's Court", established inside the temple premises ekantipur reports .

Though the Maoist leaders have time and again claimed to have put an end to such kangaroo courts, the rebels here have been operating the same unabated. People mostly come here to settle disputes concerning land, financial matters and family quarrels. Member of the Maoists' court, Laxman Bhattrai, claims that more than one thousand cases have been filed at the court and around 70 cases have already been solved.

Bhattarai says that unavailability of space was the reason why they had to set up the court in the temple. "The peoples' court was earlier in the nearby house belonging to one royal relative Nokh Jung Thapa. We shifted here after the peoples' liberation army started using the house as its base camp," Bhattarai said. However, he also said that the "court" would be shifted elsewhere after a "better place" is found. While Thapa and his family have been living in Kathmandu, the rebels here have seized their property.

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