THT 10 YEARS AGO: Thapa, Pandey among 5 ex-ministers held

Kathmandu, May 12, 2006

Security personnel today arrested five ex-ministers of the King Gyanendra-led cabinet former Home Minister Kamal Thapa, former foreign minister Ramesh Nath Pandey, former state minister for information and communication Shrish SJB Rana, former local development minister Tanka Dhakal and former state minister for health Nikshya SJB Rana.

All the five are considered “close to the Palace.” The government also placed under suspension three service chiefs  Nepal Police Chief Shyam Bhakta Thapa, Armed Police Chief Shahbir Thapa and Chief of National Investigation Department Devi Ram Sharma.

Sources said Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala-led Security Council will soon decide on what action is to be taken against Chief of Army Staff Gen Pyar Jung Thapa.

Earlier in the day, the Rayamajhi commission had recommended the suspension of these three and other officials who had a role in the suppression of Jana Andolan II.

Thapa was arrested from his house at around 5:30 pm and has been given a 90-day detention order in an arrest warrant issued by the Kathmandu District Administration Office (KDAO).

The former home minister, who has been accused of suppressing the mass movement by misusing the state machinery, had, yesterday, said he would have no grudges if the government arrested him “within the legal parameters”.

According to a high-ranking official of the KDAO, those who were arrested today are detained as per Sub clause 3(1) of Clause 3 of Public Security Act 2049 BS.

Rani Pokhari gets new life

Kathmandu, May 12, 2006

Following efforts of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), the ailing Rani Pokhari has now started regaining its former glory.

Rainfall in the past few days and water being emptied into the pond by the Public Gardens and City Hall Management Department (PGCHMD) of the KMC have done wonders for this historical pond.

“We have been pouring six tankers of water everyday in the pond for the past two months, except on days when the government imposed curfew,” Sahadev Shrestha, head of the PGCHMD said.

A reason for the decline in the water level in the pond, according to Shrestha, may be the construction of a mosque’s extension nearby.

“When the construction of the Sanchaya Kosh building disturbed the flow of water at Sundhara, it is possible that the construction of underground structures of the mosque could have absorbed the water of the Rani Pokhari,” he said, adding that the problem was seen only in the last four years.

Even Tibetan women, after witnessing the fish in the pond dying, had poured some 70 tankers of water in the pond.

The KMC also cleaned the bed of the pond with the help of boats when the water was shallow.