THT 10 years ago: Maoists killed Shah, reveals party probe

Kathmandu, November 5, 2007

Three-member probe committee of the CPN-Maoist led by central committee member Hari Bhakta Kandel alias Pratik today said journalist Birendra Shah was shot by their cadres and buried.

The committee made its report public at a press conference held at the party office this afternoon. The report states that Maoist cadres Kundan Foujdar and Ram Ekwal Sahani shot Shah twice in a jungle around two km from the open space between the Juguwa of Sapahi VDC and Sukhuwa of Kakari. It was found that the murder was ordered by Lal Bahadur Chaudhary, the Bara district committee member and area in charge of the Maoist party.

The report states that Chaudhary was miffed at Shah for misbehaving with his family, looting paddy from his fields and setting his house and belongings on fire in league with the Janatantrik Tarai Mukti Morcha. Kandel said the committee came to the conclusion that Chaudhary had abducted Shah misusing the party’s clout to take revenge ‘without consulting the party’.

The committee members, including MPs Prabhu Shah and Sheela Yadav, however, could not answer why his body has not yet been recovered. The report was based entirely on a telephone conversation with Chaudhary.

It claims that area secretary Hareram Pattel, who is also a member of the Bara district committee of the Maoists and was allegedly an accomplice of the killers, was not involved in the crime as he denied any hand in Shah’s murder. Kandel said the committee informed the police about the findings yesterday and submitted its report to them today.

Cabinet considering law to curb abduction

Kathmandu, November 5, 2007

The government is considering a legislation aimed at curbing growing instances of abduction and kidnapping. This was proposed at a cabinet meeting convened today. Sources add that the ordinance in this regard is likely to be promulgated by November 19.

Law enforcement agencies, who find themselves helpless when it comes to detaining abductors and filing chargesheets against them, have been demanding a law in this regard. Considering the urgency shown by the police, the government is expected to come up with the ordinance that can be endorsed by parliament during the winter session.

Journalist Birendra Shah’s abduction and other such incidents have forced MPs to put pressure on the government to take definite steps to stem cases of abduction. The cabinet meeting has given two more months to a commission led by Appellate Court judge Lokendra Mallik , which is probing the Kapilvastu riots that left 14 dead, 550 houses gutted and 150 vehicles vandalised in August.

Last week The Himalayan Times had carried a report quoting Mallik as saying that no progress has been made to find out who was behind the rioting and that the commission was clueless in this connection.