NHRC to monitor rights violations during polls

Kathmandu, January 31:

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today said it would “monitor incidents of human rights violations” during the municipal elections.

“The NHRC will closely monitor any violation of human rights during the municipal polls,” said NHRC member Sudip Pathak urging all other rights organisations to carry out “impartial” monitoring.

Condemning yesterday’s attack on Lalitpur mayoral candidate Dal Bahadur Rai, Pathak said that if the attack was carried by the Maoists, that would be a breach of their chairman Prachanda’s commitment to Ian Martin, Chief of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Nepal, of “not harming the electoral candidates and voters”.

“If the attack was carried out by the Maoists, Prachanda must be answerable to the people,” Pathak told an interaction at the Reporters’ Club.

He came down heavily on “some rights organisations” for being biased and partial. “You must all be responsible and impartial,” he urged the organisations warning them that the NHRC would not entertain “partial human rights reports” coming from the organisations.

Rights activist Birendra Keshari Pokhrel condemned the attack on Rai and said it was a violation of human rights.

Rights activist, Gopal Siwakoti “Chintan” said attacking anyone in plainclothes would be a violation of human rights. “Electoral candidates and voters should not be attacked,” he said. Another rights activist, Dr Gopal Siwakoti lamented on country’s deteriorating situation in “the last one year”.

NHRC probing attack on Rai

Kathmandu: The National Human Rights Commission began its probe into the attack on of Lalitpur mayoral candidate Dal Bahadur Rai. NHRC chairman Nain Bahadur Khatri criticised Local Development minister Tanka Dhakal for terming the incident “normal.” “How can a murder attempt on a mayoral candidate be termed normal?” Questioned Khatri. Meanwhile, the NHRC visited 371 individuals including political leaders and cadres kept in various detention centres in Kathmandu as part of their monitoring activities following January 20 arrests. The commission demanded the government not to put political leaders and cadres under house arrest or detention without any reason or in the absence of arrest warrants. Sudip Pathak, NHRC member urged the government to provide medical and health access, quality food, water and sanitation facilities to the detainees. NHRC also asked the government to provide the detainees with access to newspapers and magazines, radio and television. — HNS