Flicker of hope for man in detention for 7 years

Kathmandu, August 8:

There’s finally a glimmer of hope for a man who is in ‘preventive detention’ and without trial for the past seven years. Bishal Khadka’s nephew Roshan Karki has knocked the doors of the Supreme Court for the release of his uncle who was arrested in 1999 from Okhaldhunga.

The police must produce the detained in a court of law within 24 hours of his arrest and must produce him before the Ministry of Home Affairs for its nod to extend his detention for even a year. However, this never happened with Bishal, now 26. “He was arrested in 1999 but the security forces never allowed his family members to meet him,” Karki said in his habeas corpus petition filed in the apex court yesterday. After his arrest, Khadka was kept in police custody, in the army barracks, and the jail in Okhaldhunga district. He was then transferred to the Central Jail, Sundhara.

Responding to the petition, the Supreme Court today directed the authorities, including the Ministry of Home Affairs, to clarify Khadka’s detention. According to the petition, the authorities have issued several notices ordering Khadka’s release, but he was never really set free. “The authorities served the notices more than 13 times, but he is yet to be released,” the petitioner claimed. Today’s notice to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Police Headquarters,

the Kathmandu District Administration Office, the Kathmandu District Police Office and the Central Jail, was issued by a bench of Justice Chandra Prasad Parajuli. The bench has set a three-day time frame for the authorities to justify Khadka’s detention.