Move to pardon Maoist lawmaker objected

Maoists have initiated efforts to get the lawmaker pardoned from President Ran Baran Yadav.

Kathmandu: Human rights activists and family
members of a man, who was killed by the Maoists, have objected
to Maoist-led government`s move to pardon a lawmaker of the
party, who had been sentenced for 20 years in prison by
Nepal`s Supreme Court.

Ujjan Shrestha was killed by the Maoists during the
insurgency period and the Nepalese top court had handed out
life imprisonment to UCPN-Maoist lawmaker Balkrishna Dhungel,
for involvement in the murder of Shrestha.

Maoists have initiated efforts to get the lawmaker
pardoned from President Ran Baran Yadav.

More than 15,000 people were killed during the decade
long insurgency launched by the Maoists, who came to
mainstream politics in 2006 after a peace agreement.

Supreme Court of Nepal in January last year slapped
20 year prison sentence against Dhungel convicting him of
murdering Shrestha in Okhaldhung district 250 km east of
Kathmandu in 2000.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Narayan
Kaji Shrestha, also the vice-president of UCPN-Maoist,
recently spoke about the move to get cabinet approval to seek
amnesty for Maoist Lawmaker Dhungel from the president.

According to Sabitri Shretha, elder sister of Ujjan,
Lawmaker Dhungel has written in one of his books about the
murder terming it as "his first success" in the insurgency.

"We do not know about politics, and my innocent
brother, who was running a small business to maintain his
family was killed by the Maoists for doing no wrong," she said.

She said she has also appealed to the Supreme Court
to get the verdict implemented.

Lawmaker Dhungel has neither surrendered to the
court nor has he appealed to review the verdict.

Advocacy Forum Nepal, a human rights watch dog, had
filed the case in Supreme Court against the Maoist Lawmaker
and the court gave the verdict of life imprisonment with
confiscation of all of his property.

Issuing a statement the forum has asked the government
not to make any move to pardon the convicted Maoist Lawmaker.

"We may even knock the door of the International Court
for justice if the government moves to get amnesty for the
convicted Maoist Lawmaker," the organisation warned.

However, Minister for Physical Planning and Works
Tripathi, also a leader of Terai-Madhes Democratic Party,
during a function in the capital, said no discussion was held
in the Council of Ministers about granting amnesty to Dhungel.

The cabinet has not made any decision to ask the
president to pardon the Maoist Lawmaker, he added.


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