Kathmandu, November 1:

A team of National Monitoring Committee on Code of Conduct for Ceasefire (NMCC) today got the safe release of four civilians from a Maoist custody in Bhaktapur. All of them were taken into Maoist custody on charges of hooliganism, possessing illegal arms and raising money posing as Maoists. The Maoists had detained all the four in a warehouse of an old carpet factory near Brighter Tooth Paste in Bhaktapur.

The Maoists today released the four abductees in the presence of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) officials, the NHRC said in a statement today, adding that the four people were handed over to their families.

The team led by NMCC member duo Taranath Dahal and Padam Lal Biswokarma today visited the warehouse and set them free them from captivity. They had visited the place acting on a tip-off. The victims who were set free by the NMCC team were found to have been severely beaten up and blind-folded while in Maoist detention.

Those released are Shyam Dahal of Maitidevi, Rajendra Man Shrestha of Gyaneshwor, Biswa Ram Maka of Bhaktapur and Daba Lama, a Nepali Congress cadre from Sindhupalchowk.

After being brought to the Babarmahal-based NMCC office, NMCC member Dahal told reporters that they found the four persons blind-folded when they visited the warehouse-turned Maoist custody.

NMCC member Dahal said the local Maoists who were guarding the warehouse did not initially allow them to visit the place. But they managed to set them free after they contacted Maoist leaders and the local Maoist cadres cooperated with them.

Dahal said that they, however, could not set free the fifth one named Subirman Singh Basnet running a poultry firm at Sitapaila. A Maoist cadre said they had held him on charges of possessing a country-made pistol. Basnet admitted to possessing the pistol for his personal safety, according to Dahal of NMCC.

Meanwhile, an NHRC team today met Prabin Khadka, an NC(D) cadre who was severely beaten by the Maoists, at a hospital in Chabahil, a statement said.