Nepal withdraws state honours to controversial police officers
Kathmandu: Succumbing to public outrage,
the Nepalese government on Wednesday decided to withdraw state
honours conferred on two controversial security personnel,
held responsible for committing human rights violations during
the 2006 anti-monarchy movement.
However, the government spared former Army Chief Gen
Rukmangad Katawal, who was also held guilty by a state
commission of suppressing the peoples' movement.
The Rayamajhi Commission had found Katawal, besides
senior police officers Durja Kumar Rai, Kuber Singh Rana
guilty of human rights violations during the People's Movement
The government's decision to honour them had evoked a
strong outcry from human rights organisations and the
relatives of those who had been killed in violence.
A writ was also filed in the Supreme Court yesterday
against the government's decision to honour individuals who
have been accused of gross human rights violations.
Information and Communications Minister and government
spokesman Shankar Pokhrel today said the cabinet had decided
to withdraw the medals awarded to the police officers in view
of the public outrage.
President Ram Baran Yadav on Saturday conferred medals
and titles on at least 272 people from various walks of life
including the two senior police officers on the country's
second Republic Day.
Home Secretary Govinda Kusum also apologised for the
mistake in recommending the names of the two police officers
for the state honour.
Hundreds of people led by the mother of a martyr
killed by security forces during the movement picketed in the
capital on Monday.
Nearly half a dozen recipients of the state honours
also refused to accept their awards in protest.
Chief Justice Ram Prasad Shrestha also sent a written
objection, flaying honours for five judges, as the government
did not consult the Judicial Commission prior to recommending
the names for the award.