Outrage over withdrawal of cases against Nepal Maoists

Last Updated: Monday, May 23, 2011 - 21:09

Kathmandu: A Nepalese rights watchdog
on Monday slammed Home Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara for seeking
to withdraw cases registered against Maoist cadres during the
decade-long civil war and demanded the removal of cabinet
minister Agni Sapkota, who has been accused of murder.

"Withdrawing his (Sapkota) case is a big challenge to
the spirit of democracy. As part of the peace process, human
rights violators during the decade-long conflict should be
brought to justice," said Citizen`s Task Force to Combat
Impunity (CTFCI).

Sapkota, the minister for Information and
Communications in the Communist-led government, has been
charged with the killing Arjun Lama of Kavre Palanchowk during
the civil war that ended in 2006.

The Home Minister had earlier announced that around
300 cases registered with district authorities against Maoist
cadres are in the process of being withdrawn as they are of
"political nature".

"We urge the government and the Maoists to call back
Minister Sapkota, bring him to book, ask him to respect the
court order and initiate investigation into human rights
violations during the conflict," it said in a statement.

The minister`s refusal to appear before police is a
challenge to rule of law and independent judiciary, it added.

The Maoists, who led a decade-long insurgency before
joining mainstream politics, emerged as the largest single
party in 2008 Constituent Assembly elections.

It formed a coalition under its supremo Prachanda that
was forced to resign amid a row over the dismissal of the then
Army chief Rukmangad Katawal.

PTI



First Published: Monday, May 23, 2011 - 21:09

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