National Geographic : 2005 Nov
THE MAOIST INSURGENCY was born in the poverty of rural Nepal, with the first attacks against government posts taking place in 1996. The Maoists, an extremist faction among various communist groups, were led by a former agricultural student and teacher named Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who assumed the nom de guerre Prachanda. Now in his early 50s, he's rarely seen in public and almost never photographed. When Nepal's democratic government ordered crackdowns on Prachan da's band of militants, the police were indiscriminately vicious. Suspects were tortured, villagers driven from their homes, and women raped. As the rebellion spread, the government's campaign widened. Security forces fired on a primary school in Jajarkot district during an evening dance performance. Killings mounted, and support for the Maoists grew. The rebels recruited a spectrum of disenfranchised Nepalis-women, ethnic Uncertain offriend or enemy, a policeman guardsa barricadein the unquiet city of Nepalganj.Duringthe photographer'sstay, Maoists set off bombs every night and raided a television station, displayingan ability to terrorizecities.