Civil War in Nepal

The 1990 constitution did not usher Nepal into political stability, not even till date. The constant infighting and factionalism continued within the political parties. Among various political parties was a small party Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), which was nothing more than a fringe group of Maoism supporters. The legislators of this group abandoned their legislative seats and went underground in 1994. In 1996, they declared People’s War with their well known claim that only a communist state is panacea to all social and economic ills. This was the birth of Maoist Insurgency in Nepal. Its leaders were Baburam Bhattarai and Pushpa Kamal Dahal. By 2006, this insurgency spread across the Nepal. We note here that this insurgency is considered to be most successful Maoist insurgency around the world. It established provisional “people’s government” at the district level in several parts of Nepal.

The 2001 Shooting spree

Meanwhile, the royal family was about to be doomed. King Birendra had a prodigal son Dipendra, who wanted to marry Devyani Rana, the daughter of rival Rana family. His mother came in between this love and under the influence of drugs and alcohol; Dipendra not only wiped out the entire family including his father, mother, brother, sister and other half dozen of people but also shot himself. He was wounded and went into coma; but the Nepalese crowned him as next King of Nepal even while in Coma. He could not sustain the self inflicted injuries and died in three days.

Jan Andolan -II

After the untimely demise of King Birendra and his son Dipendra, Prince Gyanendra was sworn in as King of Nepal as per Nepalese traditions. Gyanendra was once in his childhood sworn in as King by Rana prime minister. His second term beginning from 2001 ended in 2008 with the end of shah dynasty as well as monarchy in Nepal.

During initial years of his rule, he tried to curb political instability by trying to gain full control over the government, because political parties were unable to hold elections. In October, 2002 he dismissed the elected Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and consolidated his power subsequently by sacking three more prime ministers by 2005 because all of them failed to hold elections and bring the rebels to negotiation.

In February 2005, he assumed the direct rule abolishing the prime minister Deuba’s government. His confrontational approach and repression of dissent continued for 14 months period under the state of emergency. Political leaders were put under house arrest, phone and internet lines were cut, and freedom of the press was severely curtailed. In April 2006, the country came under violent protests and strikes staged by Maoists. The Maoist led revolution was called Jan Andolan II and it forced the King to relinquish the direct rule. The King now declared that he would yield executive power to a new Prime Minister chosen by the political parties.

End of Civil war

In 2006, Parliament was reinstated with Girija Prasad Koirala as Prime Minister. This parliament clipped royal privileges, brought Royal Nepal Army under direct civilian rule, declared Nepal a secular state and abolished untouchability. The Maoist leader Prachanda appeared over ground and peace talks began. A Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed which declared the

end of the civil war and created a roadmap for elections to a Constituent Assembly.  To support the transition process, a United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) was deployed.

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