Maoists bar OHCHR team from meeting abducted ex-mayor

Dang, October 4:

An OHCHR team from its Nepalgunj office today failed to meet the former mayor of Tribhuvannagar Municipality, Balibhadra Rana, who is in Maoist captivity.

Maoists did not allow the team to meet Rana who was abducted by Maoists on Sunday.

The OHCHR team led by human rights officer Jennifer Bukolz from its Nepalgunj office arrived here yesterday. “Our team tried to meet Rana, who is being held captive by the Maoists. But we were denied the meeting. We will take up the issue with the Maoists’ central leadership,” Bukolz said.

Rana was elected mayor in the municipal polls on February 8 during the royal regime.

Meanwhile, Rana’s family lamented his detention during the dashain festival. Rana’s family members had no joy this dashain, a villager said.

Rana, according to the Maoists, has been taken captive for taking part in the February municipal elections, instigating security personnel to kill Umesh Chandra Thapa, the first martyr of the Jana Andolan II, and for his role in several other “anti-people activities,” a Maoist source said.

The Human Rights Organisation and Peace Society has urged the Maoists to release Rana unharmed.