It was Paras, say Prachanda, Baburam

Kathmandu, September 3 :

CPN-Maoist chairman Prachanda today said the sophisticated arms and explosives in an Ukrainian cargo plane which was grounded at the Ahmedabad Airport in India was purchased by Crown Prince Paras from Israel during his Austria visit last year.

Prachanda was addressing the first national-level meeting of the families of those disappeared by the state during the People’s War at Aradhana Church, Lalitpur.

Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, Coordinator of Joint

Revolutionary People’s Council, said the plane was carrying weapons and explosives from Israel on the Royal Palace’s instruction behind the back of the government.

Bhattarai also claimed that the King had called Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala at the Royal Palace on Thursday to talk about the arms deal after the media exposed it .

Addressing the meeting attended by 5000 families of the disappeared, Prachanda said the government and some foreign forces wanted them to be “chased away” from Kathmandu but “we will not leave Kathmandu.

He said they would raised the cases of disappearance with during the summit with the government . He made it clear that they would not be ready even to confine their militia to cantonment areas unless the political issues were settled according to the letter and spirit of the 12 and eight-point agreements and both the armies were treated on par He also said they would also not join any government without restructuring the 237-year-old feudal state. Until and unless the royalists were defeated completely, cases of disappearance would not be made public, Prachanda said, adding that the Nepali Army was not cooperating with the government, fearing that it would be exposed to the public once the cases came to the light. “Our arms were not a problem for them (alliance) during the Jana Andolan II and when the royal regime was conducting the municipal elections. The alliance had also asked us to escalate violence during the municipal polls,” he said.

Bhattarai said that the government could not make public the status of the disappeared people as it does not have control over the army, which was still loyal to the royals. He said that cases of disappearance shot up after the army was mobilised to quell the insurgency.

True or false?

•Crown Prince Paras ordered arms from Israel during his visit to Austria last year

•Arms and explosives were being imported on Palace instruction

•Government had no knowledge of the consignment

•King called PM GP Koirala to discuss arms deal after the media exposed it