‘Abducted’ jailbird surfaces at police office

Pokhara, July 8, 2005

A sense of high drama prevailed when a prisoner, Bheshnath Upadhaya (Gautam), who was “abducted” from Kaski district jail on Wednesday night, was suddenly found the next day at the Ward Police Office (WPO), Bagar. Upadhaya has been sent to the District Police Office (DPO), Myagdi, said Milan Shrestha, protection officer at the western regional office of the National Human Rights Commission, Pokhara. Upadhaya’s niece, Ganga Acharya, has accampanied him to the DPO, Shrestha added. At the same time, Upadhaya’s wife Uma Kumari Gautam who reached Beni to meet him, was not allowed to see him, Shrestha quoted Upadhaya’s family members as saying. The family members along with human rights activists kept scouring the Beni Bazaar area in search of Upadhaya all day. On Wednesday, the Baglung appellate court — on the basis of a habeas corpus writ —had issued an order for freeing Upadhaya from prison. The day the order to free him was issued by the court, Upadhaya was “abducted” that very night. Upadhaya’s wife Uma and other family members found him at the WPO. Sources said he was arrested at the behest of the district administration office, Myagdi, and that the office had told the family to make contact today for further details about Upadhaya. Inspector at the Bagar WPO, Bamdev Gautam, said Upadhaya was sent to the DPO, Kaski.

Govt to expand iron supplement drive in 12 more districts

Kathmandu, July 8, 2005

To prevent complications due to anaemia in pregnant women, the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) is set to expand its ‘Intensive iron supplement programme’ in 12 more Terai districts. Chief at the Nutrition Section, Child Health Division, MoHP, Sharda Pandey, said 78 per cent of the country’s pregnant women are anaemic; hence the decision to expand the intensive iron supplement in 12 more districts, besides the regular iron supplement programme. “The government is planning to increase the number each year as per the necessity,” said Pandey. According to Pandey, the problem is severe in our country, especially in the Terai regions, as most people do not eat green vegetables, and some cannot afford meat, milk and fish. The programme is aimed at preventing premature births, unhealthy babies and a high health risk to the mother. Under it, women health workers in each VDC will be given the responsibility to give and make sure that every pregnant woman of the VDC gets the iron tablets, so that even women who do not visit the health posts get necessary iron supplements.