THT 10 YEARS AGO: EU sending 60 poll observers

Kathmandu, August 1, 2007

The Carter Centre has decided to send at least 50 short-term international observers for the Constituent Assembly polls, while the European Union will send 60 short-term and long-term observers. Both the international organisations are concerned about the deteriorating law and order situation and the eight-party government’s slow response to the marginalised groups, including Madhesis.

“It is high time that the government developed a wider security plan and responded to the marginalised groups,” Director at The Carter Centre in Kathmandu Darren Nance told The Himalayan Times in an exclusive meeting.

The Carter Centre believes that the issues of marginalised, if not recognised, would “jeopardise” the electoral and peace processes. “The government has not done enough to address the concerns of Tarai people and other marginalised groups.

Lots needs to be done to strengthen the police force for holding credible elections,” Nance added. Senior officials at the Carter Centre here suggested that the eight parties should “come forward in a unified manner” to develop a favourable environment, where “the parties can campaign freely, and the people can vote without intimidation.” “If the polls are not inclusive, those excluded would be antagonised and that would not ensure sustainable peace,” a European diplomat in Kathmandu said.

SC notice to govt to redeem cops’ honour

Kathmandu, August 1, 2007

The Supreme Court today issued show cause notices to government authorities on a 20-year-old conviction of two policemen in a case of stolen revolvers.

A single bench of Justice Tahir Ali Ansari has given the Centre Region Police Special Court, Government Joint Attorney Rajendra Subedi, Lalitpur Chief District Officer Ananda Raj Pokhre l and Superintendent of Police Madhav Prasad Nepal 15 days to file affidavits in the court.

The bench was acting on a writ petition filed by former head constable of Nepal Police, Yagya Bahadur KC, who had to spend seven years in jail and pay a hefty fine though he was not the one to steal the two revolvers from the National Police Academy at Maharajgunj 20 years ago.

The Centre Region Police Special Court had also jailed another policeman, Khul Bahadur Kunwar, for four years on the same charge. Kunwar had also paid one year’s salary as fine. The matter took an interesting turn in 2003 when, out of the blue, another policeman, Ghanashyam Adhikary, admitted to stealing the guns before the Police Headquarters and apologised for the conviction of his innocent colleagues. While Adhikary returned one revolver, he claimed he lost the other one.

Following Adhikary’s confession, the two policemen had been knocking at the authorities’ doors, demanding they be given a clean chit, compensated and their names be struck off the record books.