The Police in Nepal, on Tuesday, arrested 144 ex-Maoist child soldiers following protests at the headquarters of their former party, a spokesman for Kathmandu police office, has said.
The spokesman, Pradhumna Karki said that about 144 former child soldiers took control of the hilltop office in Kathmandu after a two-day national assembly.
“They were arrested and held in four different areas in Kathmandu.
“Half of them are women and most of them have been arrested with their children but we do not know the exact number of children,’’ Karki said.
About 300 young men and women who fought against state security forces during the country’s 10-year insurgency had padlocked the headquarters on Monday, demanding compensation for retired combatants.
Lenin Bista, president of Disqualified Former Fighters’ Central Struggle Committee, said they would continue to fight for equal treatment from the government.
“We spent the whole night at the headquarters and protested against the Maoist party and the government.
“Security forces were stationed outside the office, but today they entered into the office and arrested us,” Bista told newsmen.
On Monday, about 300 ex-child soldiers including 70 women and 40 children had gathered at the four-storey building, which houses the ruling Maoist party.
In 2012, hundreds of former child soldiers camped outside the headquarters for two months.
The standoff ended only after a deal was reached with the government which pledged to pay them 200,000 Nepali rupees (1,873 dollars).
An estimated 4,000 child soldiers were disbanded from UN camps in 2009 after officials found them to be underage recruits.
Over 16,000 people were killed in the civil war which ended in 2006 after a peace accord.