Yubaraj Ghimire, KATHMANDU: After a debate raging for over a month that top Nepali Maoists did strike a deal with the Indian Prime Minister’s office way back in June 2002, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has admitted having solicited India’s better understanding to their cause, and the letter was sent through Brajesh Mishra, then National Security advisor to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
“Yes, the letter was sent as part of our campaign to solicit international support, and since I knew Prof S D Muni of JNU, it was sent through him to Mishra,” Bhattarai told a select group of journalists at his residence on Friday night.
He said “it must have been around January 2002 in the aftermath of the Nepal army being deployed against the Maoists,” he said.
Bhattarai and Maoist chief Prachanda have been in the thick of controversy after a book, Nepal in Transition: From People’s War to Fragile Peace with Muni’s chapter — Bringing Maoists down to the plains — revealed that the Indian government relaxed restrictions on the movement and activities of the Nepali Maoists after the top two leaders wrote to the PMO promising they would not go against India’s interest.
“We have only come to know about the letter from the book now. It was not authorised by the party,” C P Gajurel, secretary of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists (CPN-M) until two months ago , told the Express News Service.
Although Bhattarai claimed that the full letter written to different heads of the state and UN were printed way back in early January, Muni’s revelations talk about the letter handed over to the PMO in June, with specific assurance to India that Maoists would not go against the interest of their southern neighbour.
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