UML cadres used arms in Sindhuli clash: Report

KATHMANDU: The CPN UML cadres had used arms during the scuffle with the UCPN Maoist cadres at Jhangajholi of Sindhuli district on January 29, a preliminary report based on a field visit conducted by human rights activists stated here today.

"We have found that the UCPN Maoist cadres had recovered pistol, swords, rods and other deadly weapons from the three buses which were heading for the venue where a mass meeting was scheduled," said Basudev Sigdel, a member of the study team.

"The weapons were handed over to police in the presence of local journalists," he added, claiming that the police, however, released the UML leaders including the central committee member Ram Chandra Jha without investigation.

Citing local eyewitness accounts, Sigdel also claimed that the UML cadres had fired from the bus when the UCPN Maoist cadres tried to stop them and searched.

He also said cadres of both the parties were flexing their muscles since last few days and the very day of the incident marked a culmination point. "They were all equipped with lathis."

The monitoring team had studied the incident by interviewing eyewitness, locals, concerned stakeholders and government officials and security officers, besides the cadres of political parties.

They also received information from the cadres who were directly involved in the incident and also with the local civil society members and journalists.

The study team included Basudev Sigdel and Bhairav KC of Campaign for Human Rights and Social Transformation (CAHURAST), Badri Prasad Siwakoti of Human Rights Defenders Association Nepal, BP Adhikary of INHURED International, Surendra Parajuli of Mahila Adharshila and Sanat Sapkota of Human Rights and Humanity Development Forum.

The team has expressed its serious concern over the scuffle and warned that such activities would affect the peace process.

The team has recommended the government to independently probe into the incident and punish the guilty so as to ensure that such incidents are not repeated in the future.

"The government and the political parties should respect the right of the people to organise any function peacefully without fear," stated the release, issued during a press conference organised here today.