Most choosing voluntary retirement start living in highway-linked towns
GHORAHI (DANG), Sept 19: While a group of former People´s
Liberation Army (PLA) personnel are in the selection process for
integration into the national army, a large number of other ex-Maoist
combatants and commanders, who opted for voluntary retirement, have
started settling into family life.
Their place of preference for settling down, however, has not been their
home districts. Instead, they have started settling mainly in towns
located in the vicinity of the major highways which are also at the
nearest points from their home districts.
Only a small number of those opting for voluntary retirement have
returned to their home villages after receiving the money distributed by
the government. Most of those returning to home villages are from the
PLA rank and file.
The government has provided each combatant choosing voluntary retirement
with Rs 500,000 to Rs 800,000, depending on their rank in the Maoist
Those preferring to settle in regional business hubs such as
Mahendranagar, Dhangadi, Kohalpur, Dang, Butwal, Narayanghat and
Bardibas said this was both their compulsion and because of their desire
to seek a better life their families, mainly the children.
"Some of them have no choice because their houses have already become
dilapidated while their arable lands have turned fallow in their absence
during the decade-long underground period," said Shyam Kumar Budha
Magar, a former PLA brigade commissar who is origionally from Rolpa
district but currently lives in Ghorahi.
The former PLA commanders said there are mainly three reasons behind the
former Maoist combatants choosing to stay in urban areas and not return
to their home villages.
The first reason is they want to avoid awkward questions that ordinary
people may pose about the promises they made during the insurgency
period. "We had made lofty promises about transforming Nepali society
into a classless, discrimination-free one and making all poor people
happy," said Ram Lal Roka Magar, a former PLA division vice-commander.
“But we do not have any answers.”
The next reason they give is there is no ´conducive environment´ for
going back to the home village as their erstwhile juniors in the local
party structure are now in leadership positions and they will have to
work under them if they want to remain active in the party. Added to
this, they will have to restart from zero in their personal lives
whereas their colleagues are already better off in terms of money and
And the third reason is they want to enjoy the facilities that urban
areas offer such as good schools for their children and better health
and other facilities. "Urban areas are easier for us whether we take to
business or politics," argued Deependra Kumar Gharti Magar, former
According to Maoist leaders, former PLA from Seti and Mahakali Zones,
who are mainly from the seventh division, are now living in Dhangadhi
and Mahendranagar. Likewise, ex-combatants who hail from Bheri and
Karnali and who were released from the 6th Division cantonment, have
made Kohalpur their choice for settlement.
Ex-PLA who hail from Rapti and were cantoned in the fifth Division in
Rolpa have chosen Ghorahi and Tulasipur as their new homes. Fourth
Division former PLA hailing from Lumbini and Gandaki have started living
While a majority of combatants who chose voluntary retirement from the
Third Division -- they were origionally mostly from Bagmati and Narayani
-- have started living either in Narayanghat or in Kathmandu, almost
all former PLA combatants hailing from Sagarmatha and Janakpur are
living in Bardibas. They are mostly from the Second Division cantonment.
Those opting for voluntary retirement from the First Division Cantonment
in Chulachuli have started living in Jhapa.