Maoists release Palpa CDO, four others

Palpa, February 6:

The Maoists today released five persons, including Palpa’s Chief District Officer Laxman Kumar Thapa, from a village of Padena-8, Arghakhanchi. The five were abducted after the Maoists’ attack on Tansen last Tuesday.

Maoist Arghakhanchi district in-charge Kushal released them in the presence of a team of media persons and human rights activists.

A six-member team of rights activists and media personnel handed over the released persons to National Human Rights Commission member Sudip Pathak at a public programme in Bishal Bazaar of Tansen later in the day.

The four others released are non-gazetted First Class Officer of the District Administration Office, Hum Nath Pandey; Royal Nepalese Army man Mirab Singh Mahata; police constable Simanta Pulami Magar, and civilian Top Bahadur Jargha Magar.

Central Council Member the of Federation of Nepalese Journalists Jagadish Bhattarai; Ram Prasad Neupane, station manager of Paschimanchal FM; Damodar Khanal, secretary of Palpa chapter of FNJ; Bhagwan Bhandari, Palpa INSEC representative; Krishna Basyal, INSEC representative and journalist Anil Ligal had gone to Arghakhanchi yesterday to seek the abductees’ release.

Speaking after his release, CDO Thapa said that the Maoists had not put any conditions before him and added that the rebels had treated him and the others humanely in captivity. CDO Thapa also thanked all the persons who helped in his and the four others’ release.

NHRC member Sudip Pathak, speaking at the programme organised at Tansen, said that the NHRC had been taking the initiative for the release of the abductees from the very beginning. He urged the Maoists to release the remaining abductees also.

Journalist Jagadish Bhattarai, INSEC representative Krishna Basyal and other team members also spoke at the programme. On February 4, the Maoists released 21 of the 29 abducted last Tuesday, while three of the abducted are yet to be released.