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Rebel commander tired of violence

Comrade Bibidh has mellowed a lot, because Nepal?s political scene has turned a full circle and the whole country is in peace mode. Anirban Roy reports.

india Updated: Dec 08, 2006 13:36 IST

Kali Bahadur Kham Magar aka Comrade Bibidh is one of the key figures in the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA), which fought a bloody guerrilla war for more than a decade in Nepal.

Bibidh, 32, is the commander of PLA’s 3rd Division, the largest operational unit under the Central Special Command, which gave the toughest fight to the Royal Nepal Army (now Nepal Army) during the insurgency.

Today the guerrilla leader, who commands 6,000 men, has mellowed a lot, because Nepal’s political scene has turned a full circle and the whole country is in peace mode.

But that has not made him complacent, and he asserts that his entire force is alert as before, and ready to face any eventuality.

"Our movement brought down the 238-year-old monarchy in Nepal, but it does not mean that it is the end of our mission,” Bibidh told Hindustan Times after taking a short break from his busy schedule at this Maoist camp.

"Till monarchy is totally voted out of the political theatre, the PLA needs to be all alert," he said.

Bibidh is a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), and has so far been part of the party’s think-tank.

"We strongly believe in Last Mission Communism, and we do and die for it," the division commander said, adding that he has tried to make his comrades-in-arms understand the implications of the political changes taking place in the Himalayan nation.

"It is not a dumb force, it is a political army, and everyone is aware of the party’s ideology and goal," Bibidh said.

Bibidh, who joined the PLA in 1996, says he does not want any more gun battles for the welfare of the poor in the impoverished country. He knows that 13,000 people have died during a decade of Maoist insurgency. "We do not want any more bloodshed," the PLA commander said, taking a deep breath. He is contented that 11 years of armed struggle has at last brought significant political change in the country.