Activists continue protest against Sapkota’s election as HoR speaker, 12 arrested

Kathmandu, January 27

Police arrested 12 senior human rights activists and members of civil society from outside Shital Niwas while they were staging protest against election of murder-accused Agni Prasad Sapkota for the post of speaker of the House of Representatives.

The activists were arrested before Sapkota took the oath of office and secrecy from President Bidhya Devi Bhandari.

The arrested are: Mahamuniswar Acharya, Purnimaya Lama, Janak Raut, Alina Gautama, Nirajan Thapaliya, Bipin Budhathoki, Sankar Budathoki, Bal Krishna Ghimire, Jesselina Rana, Prasanta Tripathi, Rajan Kuikel and Charan Prasai. All the arrestees were released in the evening.

Activists had been staging protest against the Nepal Communist Party (NCP)’s decision to nominate murder-accused Sapkota for the post of speaker, for the last six days. Sapkota was elected speaker of the HoR unopposed yesterday.

Activists during today’s protest programme displayed placards that read, ‘End Impunity’, ‘Respect Rule of Law’ and ‘Respect Human Rights’.

Among the activists arrested today was Purnimaya Lama, who had accused speaker Sapkota and six others of murdering her husband Arjun Lama in August 2005, during the conflict era in Kavre district. Sapkota’s case is sub judice at the Supreme Court.

Human rights activist Charan Prasai said their protest and legal fight to establish truth would not stop. “We will continue our fight for justice seeking support from international communities,” Prasai said.