HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: CPN-Maoist has called one-day Nepal bandh on February 10 to protest against the imprisonment of five Maoist cadres accused of murdering Dailekh-based journalist Dekendra Thapa in 2004.
After the police completed their investigation on eight-year old murder case and presented them in the Dailekh district court, the court sent all five to judicial custody on Friday, triggering CPN-Maoist’s outrage over their imprisonment.
CPN-Maoist’s state committee member duo Jaya Bahadur Shahi and Harilal Pun, district committee duo Nirak Ghari Magar and Lachhiramn Gharti and UCPN-Maoist’s Bir Bahadur Khatri were sent to judicial custody after the court rejected their bail plea.
Police said all of the arrested murder accused had admitted of torturing the journalist after taking him hostage for several days and later burying him alive.
Issuing a press statement today, CPN-Maoist General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa, who was also the former defence minister, said, “Reviving the war-era cases without the formation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which is supposed to handle such cases, and putting them on trial in civilian court was a violation against the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) and the Interim Constitution.”
He also alleged that the local administration had mobilised police in villages to hunt others suspected involved in Thapa’s murder. The accused had invited journalist Thapa to discuss an issue related to drinking water before he was killed.
The CPN-Maoist general secretary said the five Maoist cadres sent for judicial custody are ‘political prisoners’ and demanded their immediate release.
“According to the Comprehensive Peace Accord both sides (government and then Maoist rebels) had agreed to withdraw such war-era related cases which were filed in the court of law,” Badal said.
“Even if such cases are yet to be withdrawn, constitutional provision has it that those cases shall be investigated under the TRC,” Badal said, in the statement, issued a day after the five murder accused were sent to judicial custody.