Bishwakarma released, rearrested

Kathmandu, August 17

Police arrested Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal Spokesperson Khadga Bahadur Bishwakarma (Prakanda) immediately after he was released from detention by a Supreme Court order.

In response to habeas corpus petition filed on behalf of Bishwakarma, the Supreme Court termed his detention illegal and ordered the government to release him from custody.  A division bench of justices Cholendra Shamsher JB Rana and Tej Bahadur KC ordered the government to release Bishwakarma from detention.

Fearing rearrest, Khadka remained on the premises of the Supreme Court till 9:00 pm but was rearrested by the police afterwards when he was handed over to a member of National Human Rights Commission Sudip Pathak.

Police arrested him on charges of arson and organised crime.

DSP Mohan Thapa of Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range said police rearrested Bishwakarma as a case had been filed against him in Kavre District Police Office on charges of arson attack and organised crime.

Police had arrested Bishwakarma on August 7 on charges of seeking donation illegally.

The SC observed that although the government charged Bishwakarma and two other petitioners Harichandra Acharya and Man Bahadur Shrestha under Donation Act, the government did not furnish solid evidence in its written reply to prove that an FIR or a complaint had been lodged against them under this act. The bench observed that it was ordered to release the three petitioners because the authorities who detained them neither followed mandatory provisions nor clearly cited grounds for sending them to custody.

The apex court further observed that all orders passed by the Kathmandu District Court against the petitioners were unlawful.

“This court orders the government to release the petitioners in the presence of Chief Registrar of SC Rajan Prasad Bhattarai,” the SC stated in its order.

Senior advocates Shambhu Thapa, Tulsi Bhatta, Bishwa Prakash Bhandari, Raman Kumar Shrestha, Ekraj Bhandari, Govinda Gautam, Sher Bahadur KC, former attorney general Hari Phuyal, advocates Sunil Kumar Pokharel, Yogendra Bahadur Adhikari pleaded on behalf of the petitioners in the SC.