Even as the nine-day long ceasefire called by Maoist extremists during the ‘Dashain’ festival has ended on October 28, civil society groups urged the Maoists to continue the truce till December this year when an international Buddhist convention to be held in Lumbini in southern Nepal. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has refused to extend the ceasefire unilaterally. The government started the offensive immediately where it has stopped just before the truce. At least ten extremists were gunned down in separate encounters in Taplejung and Siraha districts within 48 hours of truce elapsed.
The Ministry of Home Affairs in India is in a Catch-22 situation. In the last six months, at least seven Naxalite-affected states have written to it making an unusual demand: amend the Forest Conservation Act (FCA), 1980 to curb the spread of Naxalites. But the union home ministry mandarins are helpless: the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the nodal authority for the FCA, has refused to entertain any such demands.