Kathmandu: Maoist nominee Lokman Singh Karki was today sworn in as the chief of Nepal`s anti-graft body, despite strong objections from various quarters including political parties and civil society members who cited his controversial image.
Acting Chief Justice Damodar Prasad Sharma administered oath of office and secrecy to Karki as chief commissioner of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) at the presence of President Ram Baran Yadav.
There was widespread protests in different parts of Kathmandu for the last three days against the appointment of Karki, a former Chief Secretary, as the CIAA chief.
Karki, the Maoist nominee for the key post, is known for his close links with deposed King Gyanendra and is also seen as corrupt. His name has also been associated with the suppression of the Peoples Movement of 2006.
"It is inappropriate to appoint a person with controversial image to an important and very sensitive institution like CIAA," CPN-UML General Secretary Ishwor Pokharel said in a letter to the President yesterday.
Student unions aligned with various political parties on yesterday and today staged chakkajam in front of all government campuses here, demanding the decision to appoint Karki as the chief of the anti-graft body be revoked.
The swearing ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan was delayed following the protests. The police detained at least half a dozen civil society leaders, human rights activists and journalists outside the main gate of Rastrapati Bhawan.
Kayo Devi Yemi, sister-in-law of Maoist Vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai, and Bhanu Prasad Acharya were also administered oath of office along with Karki for the posts of chief of Public Service Commission and chief of Auditors General`s Offices respectively.
Karki`s name was proposed for the important post by the Council of Minister at the recommendation of the High Level Political Mechanism.
Nepal Students Union, affiliated to Nepali Congress, All Nepal National Free Students Union, affiliated to CPN-UML, and All Nepal National Independent Students Union-Revolutionary, aligned with CPN-Maoist, enforced the Chakkajam.
Yesterday, during a meeting of four major political parties and Chairman of the Interim Election Government Khil Raj Regmi, Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala and UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal asked Regmi to review the decision to appoint Karki as the head of CIAA.
UCPN (Maoist), however, stood by the nomination.