Anti-Maoist vigilantes (Nepal)

Country: Nepal
Details of Formation: King Gyanendra dismissed Nepal's parliament and took power himself on 1 February 2005, accusing the government of not doing enough to stop Maoist rebels in the countryside. Alongside the Army and paramilitary (cf. PGM 'Anti-Maoist special force') the state encouraged village vigilantes to attack any Maoists they could find.
Details of Termination: Termination refers to the comprehensive peace agreement with the Maoist on 21 November 2006, the vigilantes were not mentioned again after that date. Based on the peace agreement sections 46-4.8, among others, we assume that the PGM was disarmed.
Purpose: The PGM was primarily used by the government to fight Maoist insurgents, collect intelligence on their activities and identify members. The group also patrolled villages.
Organisation: The group received support from the army and cooperated with security forces but is described as undisciplined and unaccountable by one source. It took orders from chief district officers.
Weapons and Training: Although it initially denied doing so, the group was armed by the government, e.g. with guns and bamboo sticks, and was allowed to carry guns in spite of this being illegal. It is reported that the army trained the PGM in the use of weapons, defense and attacks.
Size: --
Reason for Membership: In addition to ideologically motivated members, the group included bandits exploiting their status as group members to rob locals.
Treatment of Civilians: The central charge brought forward against the group is that it killed suspected Maoist rebels and it is reported that this was often used as a means against disobedient civilians. It was responsible for murder, rape, arson, attacking protesters, abduction and robbery. Reports state that it intimidated the population. According to sources, the use of the PGM by the government contributed to an escalation of violence. It is described as unaccountable and undisciplined. The group’s behaviour was tolerated and authorised by local and state officials.
Other Information: The group is coded as semi-official because members are in possession of identity cards and receive an official salary.
References: Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD.