Nepal SC stays promotion of controversial Army officer
Kathmandu: Nepal`s apex court on Monday stayed a government order to promote a senior Army officer accused of torture and forced disappearances during the country`s decade-long civil war.
A single bench of Chief Justice Prakash Chandra Basti issued the interim order in response to a writ filed on behalf of rights organisations and the family members of those who had disappeared during the conflict, seeking the Supreme Court`s intervention in the promotion of Raju Basnet.
On October 04, Nepal`s cabinet had decided to promote five colonels including Basnet, who was implicated in the forced disappearance of 49 Maoist cadres during the peak period of the insurgency, to the rank of brigadier general.
Various national and international human rights groups had been exerting pressure against Basnet`s promotion, citing his alleged role in the torture and disappearance cases.
Basnet had commanded the Bhairabnath Battalion in 2003, when soldiers under him allegedly tortured suspected Maoists cadres and their sympathisers, according to investigations carried out by the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights and the National Human Rights Commission.
During the civil war that ended in 2006, over 16,000 people were killed while over 1,000 are still missing.