CPN-UML behind attack on Bista: Maoists

KATHMANDU: Unified CPN-Maoist today said the assault on Tika Bista, a Rukum-based journalist, on December 8, was orchestrated by the CPN-UML.

A study report released here by a five-member team comprising Megh Bahadur Shrestha, Jhaku Prasad Gharti, Ganesh KC, Lumbini Gautam and Yagya Bahadur Pandey of the UCPN-M, concluded that the incident was deliberate and Bista was used. The report also noted that the incident had been politicised, by manipulating the truth.

“The incident was a revengeful attempt, planned to tarnish the image of the UCPN-Maoist,” the report maintained.

Speaking at the function held to make the findings public, Janardan Sharma ‘Prabhakar’, Maoist politbureau member, said the culprits were within the CPN-UML but the incident had been planned in a way that could hold Maoists responsible for it.

“We sought the formation of an all-party team to probe into the case but the CPN-UML did not agree,” Prabhakar said, adding that the act of blaming Maoists was condemnable.

He challenged the government to immediately form a high-level investigation committee to reveal the truth and to book the culprits. “If such a committee finds the involvement of our cadres, we are ready to face any kind of punishment,” he added.

He alleged that the report recently published by the Federation of Nepali Journalists was biased. “The report prepared by the FNJ media mission is politically motivated and does not uphold their norms,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet yesterday decided to provide Rs 300,000 to Bista to meet her medical expenses.

Separately, a report made public by another probe team today, on clashes between the Youth Force and the Young Communist League on December 8 in Salyan, stated the attack was planned and was an outcome of the criminal mentality of the CPN-UML. According to Ramesh Koirala, Salyan in-charge, UCPN-Maoist, UML cadres had first attacked the Maoist supporters.

“Luhaping incident in Salyan was a deliberate plan of the government to replicate the Dudejhari killings,” he alleged.