Kathmandu: UN human rights watchdog on Friday
slammed the Nepal government for appointing a Maoist leader as
a minister, who is facing charges of abduction and murder.
The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner of
Human Rights (OHCHR) flayed the appointment of Agni Sapkota as
the Information Minister in the communist-led coalition headed
by Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal.
The UN rights agency said the government violated
commitments to investigate human rights abuses during the
decade-long insurgency by appointing Sapkota as minister
despite the charges against him while he was the area
commander of the Maoist PLA.
Sources close to Sapkota, however, denied the charges
saying he was innocent in the 2005 abduction and killing of a
man in Kavre district, 75 km east of the capital.
The police had opened a criminal case in 2008 against
Sapkota after the Maoists ended the insurgency with peace
accord in 2006.
The appointment of another Maoist leader Krishna Bahadur
Mahara as the Home Minister has also sparked a row within the
ruling CPN-UML. Khanal`s opponents in the party said they were
not consulted before giving Mahara the important portfolio.
Senior party leaders had opposed the appointment of
Mahara during the key meeting of the powerful Politburo.
Similarly, two Maoist leaders close to hardline leader
Mohan Vaidya Kiran did not take oath of office after
disagreement over portfolio allocation as per an earlier deal.
Mahendra Paswan was given Industry and Commerce portfolio
while Jaypuri Gharti was given command of Women and Children
Ministry. Prime Minister administered oath of office to
nearly two dozen ministers on Wednesday.
Amid the uncertainty over the promulgation of a new
constitution by May 28 deadline, Prime Minister Khanal,
accompanied by Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav, is set to leave
for Turkey today to attend the Least Developed Countries