Govt sets free Yadav, Magar

Kathmandu, May 11:

Withdrawing all the ‘terrorism charges’ against Maoist leaders Matrika Yadav and Suresh Ale Magar, the government today released the duo from Nakkhu Jail on an order from the Patan Appellate court.

The bench comprising judges Hari Ram Koirala and Sambhu Bahadur Khadka allowed the government to release them after the government attorney’s office submitted an application seeking withdrawal of cases filed against them.

They were booked in four terrorism related cases, including the the murder of IGP Krishna Mohan Shrestha of Armed Police Force (APF) along with his wife and bodyguard in January 2003, and an on a police post at Bhiman in Sindhuli.

Yadav and Magar were arrested in India and deported to Nepal in February 2004. The government, however, has not withdrawn the ‘terrorism charges’ against other top Maoist leaders, including Prachanda and Baburam Bhattarai, in the same cases.

“We have come out as per the order of party leader Prachanda,” Yadav and Magar told the reporters immediately after their release. Stating that people’s movement was not for restoration of the House of Representatives, the duo said they would continue the movement. Though Yadav welcomed Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s proposal to hold election to Constituent Assembly after amending the Constitution, he added, “We will not sit for the dialogue unless all Maoist detainees are released.”

Earlier today Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula informed the HoR that the government has begun the process of releasing Maoist detainees to create a conducive environment for holding dialogue with Maoists. He said the dialogue between the government and the Maoists would begin soon and appealed to the Maoists to ‘honestly’ implement the 12-point pact.

Sitaula said extortion by Maoist cadres was still on and their militia had been conducting march-past in camouflage, which might vitiate the environment for dialogue. He appealed to the Maoist leadership to release all the hostages including Chief District Officer of Sarlahi district, Bodh Raj Adhikari.

Sources say the government has also begun the process to seek the release of Maoist leaders CP Gajurel and Mohan Baidhya, who are in Indian jail. The Home Minister also informed the House that a committee has been formed to look into the cases of injured during people’s movement. “The committee will meet tomorrow as many injured need further treatment,” he added.