At a time when pressure is mounting on them to release properties seized during the civil war, Maoists in Nepal have been accused of forcibly taking control of a popular forest resort.
Maoist cadres and members of Youth Communist League, the party’s youth wing, allegedly captured the Baghmara Wildlife Resort located in Chitwan district on Tuesday.
Lying close to the Baghmara forest in Chitwan National Park, the resort is located 165 km from Kathmandu. The national park has several resorts and is a popular destination with foreign tourists.
Proprietors of the resort who are planning to sell the property allege that despite complaint to the police, no action has been initiated.
The Maoists have dubbed the allegations as false. Forest minister Deepak Bohara also said that no complaint has been received but assured strong action if such a thing has happened.
According to owners, the 15-year resort has been suffering losses since June 2007 when they remained closed for three months due to pressure from local Maoists to set up a union of staffers.
“On Tuesday the Maoists held a press briefing in Chitwan informing their move to capture the resort. They have been running it since then and we have no control,” said Suwal.
It is estimated that during the civil war over 1400 properties were seized by Maoists. But despite the 2006 peace they haven’t returned these properties.