Indian embassy responds to Nepal foreign ministry on threat
Kathmandu: Nepal`s foreign ministry has begun investigating the allegations by a Maoist lawmaker that he was threatened by an official at the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu and received a response from the embassy, Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala said Tuesday.
Koirala, who is also a deputy Prime Minister, told a parliamentary committee looking into the allegations by Maoist MP Ram Kumar Sharma that the embassy had sent a reply in writing to the ministry, calling the allegations baseless and irresponsible.
Nepal`s Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Relations and Human Rights had summoned Koirala as well as Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal Tuesday to ask what steps the government had taken following Sharma`s complaint to parliament that he was threatened by Subrata Das, an official from the consular section of the Indian Embassy, for leaving his Terai Madhes Loktantrik Party and joining the Maoists.
Koirala said the ministry had held consultations with the Home Ministry and then contacted the Indian Embassy to inquire into such a "sensitive issue".
Though the Indian ambassador to Nepal, Rakesh Sood, was out of the country, the seniormost diplomat at the embassy had furnished the response, Koirala said.
While the foreign minister was at her diplomatic best, angry members of the committee demanded that the Indian official be declared persona non grata and sent back.
They also warned the committee chairman that such incidents would affect India-Nepal relations.
Koirala said that the government would take appropriate action only after the investigation into such a sensitive issue was over.
The prime minister declined to depose before the committee, saying the foreign minister`s presence was sufficient.
The furore started Friday, when Nepal`s parliament sought to elect a new prime minister but failed for the fourth time.
Sharma told a private television station that he had received threats by the Indian Embassy official who had accused him of trying to wean away MPs from other parties into the Maoist fold.
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