Monday, December 10, 2007

30 people sentenced for planning seditious activities

Source: Kuenselonline

After five months of exhaustive court proceedings, 30 people, who had joined the Communist Party of Bhutan (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist) based in Nepal, were sentenced to prison terms ranging from five to nine years for conspiring to carry out subversive activities against Bhutan.

According to officials of the Samtse district court, the accused were sentenced in accordance with the provisions of the National Security Act of Bhutan, 1992, and the Penal Code of Bhutan, 2004. The court had found that, using a religious fa├žade called the Srijana Sanskrit Sangathan, the group had held several meetings to discuss Maoist ideology and to collect money and food grain for the Communist Party of Bhutan. People who attended the meetings were made to fill up membership forms, a court official said.

Seditious meetings were conducted in Katarey and Ugyentse in Samtse, during which the participants planned to recruit local people, set up camps in the forest for the terrorists belonging to the Communist Party of Bhutan, and to train locals in the use of weapons and explosives to start an armed rebellion against the government.

Some of the accused, including two Class XII students, had gone to the refugee camps in eastern Nepal to attend briefing sessions on “Political and Ideology Training” conducted by the cadres of the Communist Party of Bhutan, the Nepal Maoist and Communist Party of Nepal, Bhutan Peoples’ Party, Druk National Congress, and Bhutan Gorkha National Liberation Front. The Communist comrades briefed them on the collection of arms.

According to the court statement, some of the defendants were found guilty of aiding and abetting the ngolops, and forming secret groups like Pragathisel Sanskriti Pariwars, Srijana Sanskriti Pariwars and Saipatri Sanskriti Pariwars to strengthen the Communist Party of Bhutan in its seditious activities against the Tsa-Wa-Sum.

Two women cadres from the camps in Nepal had met 13 of the accused at the Indian border town of Luksan in Jalpaiguri district, West Bengal, and instructed them to form a separate women’s group to start a door to door awareness campaign of Communist ideology, to recruit party workers at the community level and to be prepared to undertake training in arms and explosives.

The Royal Bhutan Police believe that their main aim was to nurture and expand the Communist Party cadre so that they could set up camps inside Bhutan in collusion with the Maoist cadres of Nepal and ultimately start an armed rebellion against the government.

The Communist party of Bhutan is closely associated with the Maoist Party of Nepal. The Bhutan Tiger Force, which is the militant wing of the Communist Party of Bhutan, was responsible for planting several explosive devices in Phuentsholing town this year.

All the convicts were apprehended by the Royal Bhutan Police in Samtse in May and June this year and the cases were forwarded to the dzongkhag court on June 29. Police recovered detonators and other materials used for making improvised explosive devices, membership forms of the Communist Party of Bhutan and All Bhutan Revolutionary Student Union, note-books containing revolutionary lyrics and coded membership lists, coded names and addresses of donors and five numbers of Nepali textbooks on Communist Party from the group.

According to the court, a few of the convicted are appealing against their sentences, while most have confessed to their crimes and are appealing for pardon.

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