THT 10 years ago: MPs’ panel wants Kamal Thapa today

Kathmandu, January 12, 2007

The parliamentary committee investigating the Nagarkot massacre and the Belbari killing has directed the government to bring the then Home Minister Kamal Thapa at the committee’s meeting tomorrow at any cost.

This could even mean Thapa’s arrest. The committee will make its report on the Nagarkot massacre public after recording Thapa’s statement. For the second time, Thapa did not turn up to record his statement in the committee today.

“The committee does not issue arrest warrants. We have directed the government to make Thapa attend our meeting at 2 pm tomorrow at any cost,” Pari Thapa, coordinator of the committee, said.

Earlier, the committee had asked Home Secretary Umesh Mainali why he could not produce Thapa at the committee. The government had notified Thapa to be present at the meeting, but Thapa refused to attend it, the Home Secretary had said.

Thapa’s statement will give full shape to the report on the Nagarkot massacare. A Nepali Army soldier, Basudev Thapa, had killed 11 people in Nagarkot before allegedly killing himself. A source at the committee said that the committe is not yet sure whether Thapa had shot himself to death after killing 11.

“Thapa was shot on the chest from a Self-Loading Rifle (SLR). Eyewitnesses and others, who have recorded their statements in the panel, confirmed that Thapa had killed 11 people.

Vendors pose threat to Patan Durbar Square

Vendors are posing a threat to the Patan Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Over 100 hundred vendors spread their stuffs on the premises of the heritage site after dusk.

“The Krishna Mandir and the Bhimsen temple are situated in the locale,” Shyam Bahadur Shrestha, a local, said, adding: “These types of activities should not be allowed to continue in a sacred area.”

Kadam Lal Maharjan, a city police inspector at the Lalitpur sub-Metropolitan City (LMC), said locals have been complaining to the LMC about the growing encroachment of the area. “Our efforts aimed at regularising vendors’ businesses have not been effective.

The vendors launch protest programmes if we try to regulate their businesses,” Maharjan said, adding vendors’ business has boomed after Jana Andolan II.

The LMC had held several meetings with vendors and other stakeholders to address the threat posed by vendors. It had also offered alternative localities to the vendors.

Prem Raj Joshi, the executive officer at the LMC, said: “We are planning to accommodate some of the vendors at the vegetable market in Dhapgal and others in Lagankhel within a week with the consent of political parties.”

“Vendors have not been paying fees for occupying public space,” Joshi said, adding: “They will be taxed once they are shifted to new localities,” Joshi said.