In 1992, an anti-landlord peasant movement began in a number of regions of the country, the suppression of which caused an even greater alienation of the peasantry from the official power. The Maoists began their armed struggle in the winter of 1995. On February 4, 1996, the leader of the United Popular Front, Baburam Bhattarai, presented a list of “40 demands” to Prime Minister Sh.B. Deub, proposing to meet before February 17. The memorandum included 40 demands, among which were the abolition of the monarchy, the announcement of a new constitution and the creation of the People’s Republic of Nepal, the abolition of royal privileges, the abolition of agreements with India on peace and friendship (1950) and the Mahakal agreement on the distribution of water and electricity. But four days before the appointed time, the Maoists, without waiting for an answer, attacked police stations in Rukum, Rolpa, Gorkha and Sindhuli, declaring the beginning of a “people’s war.”

At first, the war was limited to small clashes between the Maoists and the police, demonstrations, attacks on banks, village development committees, local landowners and politicians. As Maoist influence continued to spread, the police launched a special operation in October 1997, but the situation improved only temporarily. Strengthening the police force had little effect. On the contrary, the actions of the police, which, according to human rights organizations, used in practice extrajudicial executions, abductions, torture and arbitrary arrests, only led to the expansion of the zone of the uprising. Reports of human rights violations have risen sharply since the government’s intensified mobilization in May 1998 in various parts of western and central Nepal. Between May

PLA (People Liberation Army) of Maoist during the training at Kami Danda of Kavre district on Sunday. After ceasefire they were busy in training. Post photo/ Chandra Shekhar Karki./Kantipur.

28 and November 7, 1998, 1,659 people were arrested and suspected of supporting the rebels. Later, half of them were released. As it turned out, among the detainees were not only supporters of the rebels, but also active members of the leading parliamentary parties. During the same period, 227 people were killed as “terrorists” during police actions. It is believed that some of them were executed without trial or investigation after arrest. By mid-1999, the number of victims of the “people’s war” reached 900 people. During the same period, 4,884 people were detained on suspicion of membership in Maoist organizations, of whom 3,338 were later released, while the rest were charged.

In the second half of the 1990s, coalition governments replaced each other with incredible speed. In March 1997, a government consisting of the NDP (Chanda), NK, CPN (OML) and NSP came to power, which lasted only a few months. In October 1997, Suria Bahadur Thapa, leader of another NDP faction, was sworn in as prime minister. In August 1998, the Cabinet of Ministers was again headed by G.P. Koirala. Along with representatives of the NK, it also included the communists from the CPN (UML) and the CPN (ML), which broke away from it. This coalition fell apart after the CPN (ML) ministers resigned on December 10, 1998. In the same month, the king appointed a new congressional / communist coalition government headed by G.P. Koirala.