After Maoists rebels laid down their arms to join the Nepalese peace process in 2006, no fewer than 109 separate armed outfits–gangs and rebel groups–sprang up to replace them in the southern plain of Terai, which sits on the border with India. People ages 16- 35 joined these gangs and were involved in killing, abduction, extortion and even attacks on police posts in some places.
The criminal activity got so bad that, a year ago, businessmen throughout the country–tired and frightened after several kidnaps, murders and ransoms–demanded the government do something, and even the UN described the area as “a tinderbox that could spiral out of control.”
Now, according to the Nepal Police, the Special Security Plan that was implemented has worked.
“There were 109 armed groups, now there are only 10 outfits in Terai,” said police spokesman Bigyan Sharma. “Most of the people involved in the groups are arrested, and they are in the jails.”
Sharma added that out of the ten groups remaining at large, only a few are politically motivated. The deadly splinter group Goit–which killed parliamentarian Krishna Shrestha in 2006–and Jwala are among those still active.
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