Hetauda, January 19:

Maoists today freed six of the 17 persons in their custody in Makwanpur district.

Maoists released them in the presence of journalists and human rights activists at Harnamadi VDC in Makwanpur. “Three persons — Dhan Bahadur Syangtan, Keshav Syangtan and Nara Bahadur Syangtan of Raksirang, who were held in connection with the killing of Maoist area member Karna Bahadur Syangtan two weeks ago, and three persons — Shyam Bahadur Syangtan, Ashok Lama and Saroj Upreti — who were facing party action were released today,” Gokharna Parajuli, a local Maoist leader, said.

However, 11 persons, including Amar Singh Thing, Anand Syangtan, Ghat Lal Syangtan, Badri Syangtan, Ram Krishna Syangtan, Neer Shankar Syangtan, Keshav Bhujel, Raj Kumar Syangtan, Jaya Ram Surkheti and Madan Tamang were yet to be released.

“They were arrested on various charges,” Maoist source said, adding, “Preparations are on to hand them over to the local administration.”