DAHABAN (ROLPA), Sept 16: Rolpa, the Mid-Western hill district from where the Maoists started their insurgency in 1996 to topple the monarchy and turn Nepal into a classless communist state, crops up whenever the momentous changes that Nepal witnessed during the first decade of the twenty-first century are mentioned.
Rolpa was not only the place where the Maoists gradually built-up their military but it also produced many brilliant commanders who carefully piloted the decade-long Maoist insurgency to take on the state security apparatus.
For the former PLA combatants, Nanda Kishor Pun, Barsha Man Pun, Suk Bahadur Roka Magar, Hitman Shakya and Ram Lal Roka Magar are among the ex-PLA commanders they still remember for bravery and tact.
But the district that ignited the Maoist conflict failed to send even a single officer into the Nepal Army during the integration of ex-combatants that resumed Wednesday in Chitwan.
Phabindra Acharya a.k.a. Kschitiz, the only candidate from Rolpa for the post of officer in the Nepal Army, gave up his hope of staring a brand new military career.
"I decided to quit the race for NA officer when I realized that it was impossible for me pass the medical tests," a heavy-hearted Acharya said explaining his decision to quit.
"Despite so many sacrifices, I´m sorry I couldn´t secure an officer-level post for someone from Rolpa", says Acharya, who was one of two with potential for the posts of NA officers. The other was Battalion Commander Ras Bahadur Budha Magar, who opted for voluntary retirement without a second thought.
For many like Ram Lal Roka Magar, former commander of the PLA Fifth Division who also hails from Rolpa, this was the expected consequence of the ´humiliating´ 7-point deal outlining the criteria for ex-PLA to be integrated into the NA that the Maoists inked with the major political parties.
Undoubtedly, the ´degrading norms and standards´ under the 7-point deal comprise the single biggest factor discouraging a majority of ex-Maoist commanders from vying for officer-level positions in the NA, he says.
“The party leaders promoted their political ambitions and betrayed the dream of combatants who sacrificed all their happiness for the revolution," Roka Magar said.
Had the 7-point deal preserved their self-respect, a majority of the combatants from Rolpa would have opted for integration, says Pun.