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SC show cause on Bhagat Singh's arrest



KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court today issued show cause notices to the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Nepal Police Headquarters over the arrest of Bhagat Singh, former chairman of Janatantrik Tarai Madhes Mukti Party.

A single bench of Justice Ram Kumar Prasad Shah issued the order following today’s hearing on a habeas corpus petition filed by Mahesh Singh Sodi demanding Singh’s release. Sodi has termed the arrest illegal.

The bench has also asked the authorities to submit the peace agreement signed with the former underground outfit and the receipt of arms and ammunitions surrendered by the JTMMP to the government two years ago. The court also directed the authorities to provide sufficient opportunities to Singh’s lawyer and family members for legal advice and family meetings. A special police team from Surkhet-based Mid-Western Regional Police Office had arrested Singh with the help of Indian police from his hideout in India’s Rupaidiha on November 29. He was made public on November 30.

He is accused of carrying out multiple bombings, extortions and murders in Banke, Bardiya, Dang and other districts when he was the chief of the armed outfit. Singh had formed the JTMMP in 2009.

Singh had gone underground after handing over arms to the government as per the peace accord.

Despite joining the peace process, Singh and his group is still accused of being involved in criminal activities in Banke and Bardiya. Prior to the CA polls, Singh’s supporters had staged a sit-in in front of the Banke DAO demanding that they be allowed to contest polls.

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