Archive ref no: NCA-18640
THE BETHAN RAID
Guerrillas Raid Police Outpost & Seize Arms
In one of the most daring acts since the initiation of the people's war in Nepal, the Maoist guerrillas raided a police outpost at Bethan in Ramechhap district in eastern Nepal on January 3, 1997 and seized arms and ammunitions. Armed with local guns and pistol and home-made bombs, 29 guerrillas raided the armed police post in one of the most backward hilly regions some 100 km east of the capital city of Kathmandu and seized four rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammunitions.
On the night of January 3, in a meticulously planned move the guerrillas surrounded the police outpost and ordered the policemen to surrender. However, as the mercenaries of the reactionary state shut themselves up in the building and resorted to indiscriminate firing on the guerrillas from the windows, there ensured a heavy exchange of fire for several hours Meanwhile in the darkness of the night Corn. Tirtha Gautam, the commander of the raid operation, was hit by a bullet on his head and attained martyrdom instantly. This fueled the fire and inspired the guerrillas to mount their attack more vigorously. In this course two of the running dogs of the reactionary state were killed and two others were seriously injured. On the guerrilla side two more fighters, Com. Dilmaya Yonjan, a young woman guerrilla squad member, and Com. Fateh Bahadur Slami, another guerrilla squad member, attained martyrdom. Finally the enemy was over powered; rifles, ammunitions and other valuable & utilities were seized and the police outpost was totally destroyed. Amidst shouting of revolutionary slogans like 'Long live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism!, 'Long live the people's war' end others, the guerrillas carried away their fallen comrades and returned to safety.
As this was the single largest blow suffered by the reactionary state during the Second Plan of the people's war, it mounted vicious counterattack with search helicopters hovering over the remote mountain jungles and brutal combing operations all over the region, but in vain. Despite the loss of three precious lives of valiant guerrillas, this successful raid electrified the revolutionary aspirations of the toiling masses and sent chills down the spine of the reactionaries. It also signalled the steady development of the people's war to a higher stage. Hence the historic significance of this action in the early phase of the people's war has been duly recognised by the Party, and even by the national media.