CPN-M should speak on Shah’s abduction: INSEC

Kathmandu, October 10:

Stating that journalist Birendra Shah was abducted by Maoist cadres, a preliminary investigation report prepared by the INSEC has urged the Maoist leadership to speak on the case and release Shah immediately.

Locals have identified the kidnappers as Lal Bahadur Chaudhary, in-charge of Bara district area no 4 unit of the CPN (Maoist), and cadres Kindan Foujdar and Ram Ekwal Sahani.

“Based on accounts of the locals, we have arrived at the conclusion that the CPN (Maoist) cannot escape from the responsibility of abducting Shah,” Kundan Aryal, general secretary of the INSEC, said at a press conference organised by the Press Chautary Nepal (PCN) here today to make the report public.

Aryal, who is also the adviser to the PCN, said none of the accused have been rounded up yet. “The superintendent of police in the district, Shyam Bahadur Khatri, said they were unable to arrest any of the accused. This shows the incapability of the state,” he said.

He demanded that the CPN (Maoist) send a central-level team at the area immediately, come clean on the matter and order its district committee to release Sah immediately.

A four-member team headed by Aryal had reached the district on Monday. The team includes Krishna Gautam and Bimal Chandra Sharma of INSEC and Rohit Dahal of Avenues Television. Sah, a central committee member of the PCN and reporter, was abducted from Pipara Bazaar of Umjan VDC-1 in Bara district at around 5:30 pm on October 5. His whereabouts are still unknown.

“Based on the preliminary study of the incident, we suspect that Sah is no more,” said Gagan Bista of the Federation of Nepali Journalists, who had also reached the site for conducting an investigation on behalf of the FNJ.

President of the PCN Bal Krishna Chapagain said the PCN will intensify its stir if the Maoists do not release him soon. He added that the PCN will not allow the parliamentarians to enter the House for the special session to be held on Thursday afternoon.