Abducted government officials’ release sought

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 20:

Family members of acting Chief District Officer of Arghakhanchi, Birendra Nath Sharma, and Local Development Officer, Sudarshan Prasad Dhakal, have jointly appealed to the Maoists to free them.

In a press statement issued here today, Mamata Sharma, wife of the acting CDO, and her daughters Deep Shikha, 14, and Ritika, 8, and Geeta Dhakal, the wife of LDO, and her two children — Sulabh Dhakal, 14, and daughter Smita Dhakal, 16 — as well as LDO’s mother Somdevi Dhakal, 60, appealed to the Maoists to free them unconditionally and unhurt. Acting CDO Sharma and LDO Dhakal were kidnapped from Sandhikharka, the distrcit headquarters of Arghakhanchi, four days ago while having dinner at a hotel.

“We have been undergoing mental trauma since the report of their abduction. We request the Maoists to release them on humanitarian ground,” said the joint statement. They have also asked the human rights organisations and journalists to take initiatives for their immediate release of the officials. RPP spokeswoman Rosan Karki asked the Maoists to free them immediately. She has also asked the government and rights organisations to secure the government officials’ safe release. Maoists, however, have demanded the government to release three of their cadres and make public the whereabouts of others for the release of the government officials.