Mahara indicates withdrawal of cases against Sapkota, others
KATHMANDU, May 20: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara has indicated that criminal cases involving Maoist leaders and others during the conflict time, including the one against Minister for Information and Communications Agni Sapkota, may be withdrawn.
“Cases of political nature and related to the conflict time should be quashed,” Mahara told journalists at a press meet on Friday when asked to comment on general concerns that the government may withdraw cases involving Maoist leaders and cadres.
When asked if the government would also withdraw cases against Sapkota and Major Niranjan Basnet, who face charges of human rights violations during the conflict time, Mahara said, “The cases related to conflict time are against the spirit of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and they should be withdrawn. But such a move needs political consensus.”
The cases involving Sapkota and Basnet have been taken as emblematic cases of conflict time. While Sapkota has been implicated in the murder of one Arjun Lama of Kavre, Major Basnet has been accused of torturing Maina Sunuwar, a school girl, before she died. Both face arrest warrant but remain free.
“I cannot deny that the government is not making preparations to withdraw cases,” he said, adding, “There are cases against me as well.”
Brushing aside allegation that police have been directed to release all Maoist cadres arrested on criminal charges, Mahara gave instances of arrests of Maoist cadres since he assumed the ministry.
“The police have arrested party cadres involved in incidents at Annapurna casino and Patan. But those who have been victimized will be released,” Mahara said on the allegation. In both the incidents, Maoist trade unionists close to Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal had beaten cadres close to Vice-chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai.
Asked about recent security threat to Bhattarai, Mahara said the government has provided necessary security to him and the UCPN (M) is investigating those involved in issuing such threats.
Earlier, Mahara said he has directed the police administration to maintain balance while enforcing law and order. “They [police officials] may have their political ideology but I have directed them not be influenced by politics while performing their duties,” said Mahara, adding, “I have told them that they should carry out their responsibilities in a balanced way.”
Unveiling his roadmap of running the home ministry, Mahara said he would come up with a strategy to strengthen relations between the people and the police. He added that the government would also amend existing laws for effective enforcement of law and order.
Mahara reiterated that the present coalition would not allow Nepali soil to be used against Nepal´s friendly countries.
Nepalese people must be the most tolerant in the world. This man whose voice the nation heard, attempting to get money from across the border to buy MPs (and he has not denied it) becomes the home minister and grants impunity to his fellow party men.
“The cases related to conflict time are against the spirit of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and they should be withdrawn." We, the people believed the spirit of the peace agreement was peace and political stability. This is Anim