Kathmandu, April 18:

Though rumours about government preparations to release detained CPN-UML general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal did the rounds in the capital today, the UML chief remains in custody.

According to Nepal’s personal secretary, Yadav Sharma, Nepal was taken back to the Armed Police Force detention centre in Kalanki from Modkhu, Balaju, while he was being taken to the district court in Kathmandu.

Many political leaders, rights activists, lawyers and journalists had gathered at the Kathmandu District Court to receive Nepal, but they returned disappointed after they came to know that Nepal was taken back to the APF Kalanki detention centre.

“He was taken back to the Kakani detention centre by the security forces midway,” said Sharma. “Nepal was being brought to Kathmandu to set him free. We don’t know why he was returned to the detention centre.”

CPN-UML standing committee member Keshav Badal said the “drama” of suddenly deciding to release Nepal and backtracking from doing so halfway through the process shows that those in government are in a state of panic.

“This move is understandable. They are in a state of panic as they know that the ongiong movement for the restoration of democracy cannot be stemmed by the detention of political leaders,” Badal said.

Badal said the decision to free Nepal might have been changed as many people had gathered at the District Court to receive him, adding, the party was not informed in advance about his release.

“And when we heard about it, the idea had already been dropped,” Badal said.