1. International community’s role for weakening of the democratic movement
The deadline for the submission
of draft resolutions on country situations under item 9
of the 61st session of the United Nations Commission on
Human Rights expires at 3 pm on 11 April 2005. But, a country
resolution on the situation of human rights in Nepal increasingly
appears elusive. India, despite calling for the restoration
of democracy and the release of political detainees, journalists
and human rights activists, has maintained a thunderous
silence on a country resolution on Nepal. The United States
also failed to formally announce an embargo on the sale
of arms to Nepal although training programmes for the RNA
has been cancelled. The position of both the United States
and India has not helped those countries such as Denmark
and Switzerland which have been advocating appropriate action
to address the coup of 1 February at the Commission on Human
According to informed diplomatic
sources, the Ambassador of the United States on behalf of
those interested for the restoration of democracy in Nepal
has reportedly set 8 April 2005 as the deadline to King
Gyanendra to release political leaders and restore freedom
of press or face a resolution on country situation under
As a part of the assurance
given by King Gyanendra to US Ambassador, G P Koirala was
released on 1 April 2005 as promised. New Delhi immediately
welcomed it. But on 3 April 2005, the Nepali Police arrested
two leaders of the Nepal Student Union (NSU)- a pro-Nepali
Congress (NC) student wing, NSU vice-president Pradip Poudel
and NSU leader Dharma Khanal from the residence of NC president
Girija Prasad Koirala, indicating King Gyanendra’s views
on democracy. It remains to be seen as to whether King Gyanendra
releases Madhav Nepal and others and restores the press
freedom by 8 April 2005. Even if King Gyanendra were to
release Madhav Nepal and others and restore press freedom,
there is no reason to expect full restoration of democracy.
often blames the over ground political parties of Nepal
for the lack of unity and lack of public support because
of corruption. While the allegations are true to some extent,
international community has also contributed to the weakening
of the democratic movement in Nepal and instead, strengthened
the autocratic measures of King Gyanendra.
remained a mute witness to dissolution of the parliament
on 22 May 2002 and subsequent dismissal of Prime Minister
Sher Bahadur Deuba on 4 October 2002.
Most importantly, in April-May
2004, the five-party alliance of Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML,
Peoples Front Nepal (PFN), Nepal Workers and Peasants’ Party
(NWPP) and Nepal Sadbhawana Party (Anandi Devi) launched
anti-regression movement against King Gyanendra. The Ambassadors
of the United States, United Kingdom and India reportedly
advised the leadership of the five-party alliance to reconcile
with King Gyanendra as their movement might strengthen the
Maoists. In fact, King Gyanendra categorically told then
Indian Ambassador and India’s present Foreign Secretary,
Shyam Saran that neither G P Koirala nor Madhav Nepal would
be accepted as Prime Minister. Therefore, Sher Bahadur Deuba was appointed
as the Prime Minister. International community accepted
such undemocratic role of King Gyanendra.
The United States, United
Kingdom and India have also supported the only approach
adopted to resolve the Maoist conflict i.e. military approach
in the name of launching united fight to weaken the Maoists
before initiating any substantive peace process. Little
attention was paid to the processes and substance of dialogue
between the government of Nepal and the Maoists.
The fact that talks between
the government of Nepal and the Maoists never reached beyond
discussion on agenda has not been considered. As the talks
on agenda became serious in August 2003, the Royal Nepal
Army perpetrated Doramba massacre on 17 August 2003 to derail
the peace process. It is clear that the Narayanhiti Palace
is against peace with the Maoists. Only continued conflict
with the Maoists could justify the intervention of King
Gyanendra. India’s objection to third party involvement
in Nepal and the treatment of the Maoists as “untouchables”
by international community have helped King Gyanendra. The
demand of the Maoists on 5 April 2005 for an international
monitoring team to probe human rights abuses in Nepal is
unlikely to find echo in Geneva.
The consensus between New
Delhi and other members of the international community is
limited to restoration of democracy and the release of detainees.
While New Delhi would like to play a central role for resolution
of the conflict in Nepal, it is increasingly running out
In an attempt to counter
New Delhi, on 17 March 2005 Nepalese Foreign Ministry issued
a statement expressing unequivocal support to the controversial
law recently enacted by China that authorises the use of
force against Taiwan - if the island decides to press for
independence. This was followed by the visit of Chinese
Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing to Kathmandu on 31 March 2005.
Kathmandu believes that forthcoming visit of King Gyanendra
to China to attend the annual meeting of Boao Forum for
Asia (BFA) from 22 to 24 April 2005 and Pakistan’s offer
of military assistance will counter New Delhi’s overtures to
the democratic forces of Nepal.
has no roadmap to resolve the Maoists conflict in Nepal
apart from the restoration of democracy. By offering a deal
to drop the country resolution on the situation of human
rights in Nepal in exchange for the release of political
detainees and restoration of press freedom, international
community in many ways legitimses the coup of King Gyanendra.
International community underestimates his insatiable craze
for power. A country resolution without the cooperation
of the government of Nepal might mean nothing but it is
a statement of disapproval of coup by the international
As this Briefing Paper shows,
there is no improvement of the situation in Nepal. The RNA
and other security forces continue to perpetrate gross human
rights violations including extrajudicial executions. In
late March 2005, three school students– Narayan Bahadur
Kanauji Magar (17), Tek Bahadur Gaha (15), and Dal Bahadur
Darlami (15) – had been shot dead at the highway near Tansen,
the district headquarters of Palpa by plain-clothes security
personnel suspecting them to be Maoists. The victims who
were in their school uniform were collecting ‘donations’
from vehicles and passengers for ‘Fagu Purnima,’ a festival
“Kathmandu valley” increasingly
appears to be equivalent to the whole of Nepal. As the Maoists’
bandh came into effect from 3 April 2005, businesses and
transport in most districts came to standstill. But life
in the capital remains unaffected. So long the supply line
to Kathmandu remains open, peripheries do not matter to
King Gyanendra. On 3 April 2005, the RNA personnel reportedly
escorted over 800 vehicles leaving Kathmandu along the Prithvi
highway. On 4 April 2005, the road permits of
seven oil tankers owned by the private sector were cancelled
for not cooperating with Nepal Oil Corporation, Western
Regional Office, Bhalbari in transporting petroleum products
from the Indian Oil Corporation to Bhairahawa and to Kathmandu. There are no reports of the humanitarian
crisis in rural Nepal as reports relating to the Maoists
cannot be published without the prior sanction of the RNA.
Mass influx of Nepalese into India speaks of a humanitarian
crisis in the making. Around 300 Nepalese have been crossing
over to India every day at Dhangarawa point alone.
King Gyanendra continues
to suppress all forms of dissent and continues to confine
key leaders to Kathmandu valley. On 25 March 2005, security
personnel at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu
barred Prof. Dr. Lok Raj Baral, Prof. Krishna Khanal and
Dr. Krishna Hachhethu from taking the Jet Airways flight
to Delhi on the way to Goa to attend a conference. On 5
April 2005 afternoon, security personnel at the Tribhuvan
International Airport barred three politicians including
former MP and central committee member of CPN (UML), Pradip
Gyawali, joint general secretary of Rastriya Prajatantra
Party, Khem Raj Pandit, and spokesman of Nepali Congress
(Democratic), Dr Minendra Rijal from flying to Colombo to
take part in a seminar.
Complete restrictions on
the press freedom continue and at least a dozen journalists
including Lavadev Dhungana (Panchthar district), Gopal Baraili
(Dhankuta), Manohar Pokhrel and Arjun Shah (Saptari), Rishiram
Pokhrel (Tanahun), D. R. Panta (Dadeldhura), Sharad Adhikari
(Dang), Ganesh Lama and Surya Thapa (Kathmandu) and Madhu
Acharya (Kavre) remain in custody. The judiciary and National Human Rights
Commission have abysmally failed to address such gross violations.
Yet, international community
including India appears to be obsessed with supporting national
mechanisms to address the crisis in Nepal and therefore
suggest a resolution on technical cooperation under item
19 of the 61st session of the CHR. The term of the NHRC
expires in May 2005 and the terms of many members will not
be renewed. There is also no guarantee that even members
of the NHRC attending the UN Commission on Human Rights
can return to the country if they truly speak about the
prevailing situation in Nepal. On 4 April 2005, ten major
human rights organisations of Nepal criticised the National
Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of Nepal for issuing an "incomplete"
statement on April 1 regarding human rights violations and
excesses committed by the vigilantes in Kapilavastu. Like the Supreme Court, the much-vaunted
NHRC too succumbed. The NHRC can never replace the judiciary
and when the judiciary fails, the NHRC cannot be expected
When the international community
fails, NHRC cannot be expected to stand alone but fall in
line. Yet, it might be easy for international community
to blame the Nepalese over ground political parties who
are battered by King Gyanendra and his RNA and the Maoists,
and often restrained and abandoned by international community.
Time has come for international
community to retrospect their own role in Nepal.
2. Extrajudicial killings by RNA
The Royal Nepal Army (RNA) personnel
continue to be responsible for gross human rights violations
including extrajudicial executions. While it is difficult
to verify all claims of the RNA, the reports of executions
of innocent civilians continue to pour.
On 22 March 2005, three
youth – Narayan Bahadur Kanauji Magar (17) of Class IX,
Tek Bahadur Gaha (15) of Class VIII, and Dal Bahadur Darlami
(15) of Class VI– had been shot dead by plain-clothes security
personnel taking them for Maoists. The youth were shot at
when they were collecting ‘donations’ from vehicles and
passengers plying on the highway, some 19 km northeast of
Tansen, the district headquarters of Palpa. The youth in
their school uniform were raising money to observe ‘Fagu
Purnima,’ a festival of colours. Police claimed that they
were killed in encounter. Following protests from the relatives
of the deceased and civil society groups, the police reportedly
acknowledged that the boys had died “due to bullet injuries”. On 31 March 2005, chief of the Western
Divisional Headquarters of RNA, Amar Panta, said that a
board of inquiry into the killing of three school students
by security personnel at Dhaireni in Chidipani in Palpa
district on March 22 has been formed and the probe is underway.
On 16 March 2005, the security
forces reportedly killed at least eleven alleged Maoist
rebels in separate security operations. Three Maoists were
killed in Nijgadh of Bara district, two Maoists were killed
in Matela of Dailekh district and one in Jumla. Arms and
ammunition and Maoist-related documents were recovered from
the incident sites.At
least five Maoist rebels were gunned down during search
operation at Siundanda area of Nawalparasi district.
20 March 2005, security forces shot dead a Maoist rebel
identified as Kumar Pandey alias ‘Prabhat’ at Salme area
of Nuwakot district. On the same day, security
forces also killed two Maoists – Ramjulum Yadav alias ‘Birupan’
and Dilip Yadav alias ‘Dilpa’ at Gadha area, and shot dead
another identified as Satma Raya at Mohanpur area of Siraha
district. The security forces reportedly recovered two pistols,
bullets, socket bombs and explosives.
The security forces claimed to have killed at least
nine alleged Maoists in separate incidents on 21 and 22
March 2005. On 21 March 2005, security forces killed a rebel
each in Mahadebdanda area of Sindhuli, Dalapur area of Kapilvastu
and Kalyanpur area of Surkhet district. They also recovered
some arms from the incident sites. On 22 March 2005, two
Maoist rebels were shot dead at Lekfarsa area of Surkhet
district and one rebel at Ishma area of Gulmi district.
In Pokhara, security forces shot dead Sundar Oli, a Maoist,
at Hulake area of Ishma Rajsthal VDC-1 and an unidentified
Maoist at Arje VDC of Gulmi district. Hasan Kasahi, another
Maoist, was killed at Dalpur VDC of Kapilvastu district.
On 22 March 2005, at least five alleged Maoist rebels
were reportedly killed in security actions in different
parts of the country. According to the Public Relation Directorate
of the Royal Nepal Army, three Maoists were killed at Dhareni
area in Palpa district, and two Maoists were killed in clashes
at Arje and Hulaki areas in Gulmi district.
On the morning of 24 March
2005, security forces killed two alleged Maoists in an encounter
at Wegashivapur VDC in Dhanusha district. The deceased have
been identified as Shrawan Kumar Mandal (30) of Bhunhipartewa
VDC-4, and Nathuni Kapar (29) of ward 9 of Dhanusha district.
The security forces reportedly recovered some empty rifle
magazines from them.
On the night of 24 March
2005, an RNA personnel Gobind Karki allegedly opened fire
in a drunken frenzy leaving Arjun Lamichhane, a civilian
from Manmaiju-8, seriously injured in Lamabagar, Kathmandu.
He died while being shifted to Bir Hospital for treatment.
On 25 March 2005, the RNA issued a statement claiming
to have killed three alleged Maoists in security actions
on 23 March 2005. According to the statement, while a Maoist
company member identified as ‘Geeta’ was shot dead at Jhungakhola
area of Sindhuli district, Shrawan Kumar Mandal and Nathuni
Kapang were shot dead in Begashiwapur area of Dhanusha district.
The security forces reportedly recovered two pistols, some
bullets and socket bombs from the incident sites.
On 28 March 2005, at least four alleged Maoist rebels
were killed in security actions. While security forces shot
dead two Maoists identified as Tilak Chaudhari alias 'Sunil'
and Suresh at Laxmipur area of Morang district, they killed
a Maoist at Bisunpurwa area of Bara and another rebel Tej
Bahadur Khadka at Chaukhutte area of Achham district.
On 31 March 2005, security forces gunned down two
alleged Maoists during a clash at Chhuplu Bhanjyang area
in Solukhumbu district.
On 1 April 2005, security forces shot dead an alleged
Maoist rebel identified as Mangal Singha Ghalan in Paurahi
area of Rautahat district, and an unidentified Maoist at
Bhagawanpur area of Kapilvastu district. Three Maoists and
two security personnel were killed in a clash at Likhuphalate
area in Gaighat. Two security forces were injured in the
clash that occurred after Maoists attacked a security patrol.
On 2 April 2005, Directorate
of Public Relations (DPR) of the RNA issued a statement
claiming to have killed at least nine alleged Maoist rebels
over the last 24 hours during encounters in different parts
of the country. According to the statement, the head of
a self-styled ‘village people’s government’, Purna Bahadur
Pulami was killed in a security action at Dana area of Mygdi
district on 2 April 2005. Three Maoists, one each in Manpur
area of Sarlahi district, Dikhuwakhola of Taplejung district
and Molangakhola of Okhaldhunga were killed on the same
day. On the same day, one Maoist was allegedly killed at
Bhagwanpur area of Nawalparasi district. The security forces
reportedly recovered socket bombs, explosives, detonators
and Maoist documents from the Maoists.
On 3 April 2005, security
forces reportedly shot dead four alleged Maoist rebels in
different security operations. In Dang district, a Maoist
was killed in Riya Chaukhola area, while two others were
gunned down near Amaliya of Lamahi-Kohalpur road. Another
rebel identified as Shambhu Rajbanshi was killed in Debighada
area of Jhapa district.
On 4 April 2005, at least
three alleged Maoist rebels were killed in clashes with
security forces in different parts of the country. According
to a press release issued by the Directorate of Public Relation
(DPR) of the Royal Nepalese Army on 5 April 2005, two ‘district
committee members’ of the Maoists – Pashupat Mahato and
Bidur Baitha- were killed in Kanakpur area of Rautahat district,
while a Maoist ‘area committee member’ identified as Tal
Bahadur Shahi was killed in Seri area of Mugu district.
The security forces have reportedly recovered a pistol,
socket bombs, combat dresses and different materials of
logistical support from the slain insurgents.
Though President of Nepali
Congress Girija Prasad Koirala has been released from house
arrest along with 258 others on 1 April 2005, repression
on the political activists continues unabated.
18 March 2005, security personnel arrested seven political
activists from Pathivara Campus premises in Taplejung district.
They have been detained at District Police Office. Security
forces also arrested Gopal Baral, chairman of the student
wing of People’s Front Nepal Dhankuta People’s Campus unit
and local correspondent of the Gorakhapatra daily in Dhankuta
On 20 March 2005, over 300 political party workers
were reportedly arrested by the police for staging protest rallies
demanding peace and restoration of democracy across the
country. Nine activists including
former state minister Suresh Malla and party leader Chiranjivi
Nidhi Tiwari were arrested in Ason, Kathmandu. More than
100 political activists including 79 cadres of NC and 22
of CPN-UML were arrested in Sarlahi. The arrested political
activists have been kept at the premises of the local Customs
Office. At least 28 activists including former assistant
minister Ajay Chourasiya, were arrested in Birgunj. 25 NC
activists were arrested in Biratnagar, seven women cadres
were arrested in Narayangadh. Police also arrested 18 cadres
in Bardiya, 16 in Mahottari, 11 in Dang, 13 activists including
NC central leader Farmullah Mansoor in Bara, eight in Janakpur,
four in Bhairahawa, three in Pokhara and two in Dhangadhi.
Out of 24 arrested in Nawalparasi, 19 were released in the
evening. Five cadres were injured when police baton-charged
protesters in Tanahun.
Most of the arrested persons were released on 21 March
2005. However, out of the 16 arrested in Mahottari, five
have been served 90-day detention orders under Public Security
Act. Six of the 18 political activists
arrested from Guleriya in Bardiya district on March 20 were
sent to jail under Public Security Act on 21 March 2005.
On 21 March 2005, at least 175 demonstrators belonging
to five-party alliance were arrested across the country
for staging protest demonstrations demanding restoration
of democracy. Forty-nine of them were reportedly released
in the evening. In Kathmandu, police arrested five persons
including CPN-UML standing committee member Keshav Badal.
General Secretary of Nepal Tarun Dal, Surendra Pandey and
Treasurer Kamal Shah were arrested from Satdobato in Lalitpur.
42 demonstrators including journalist Kushal Babu Basnet
were arrested in Gaighat of Udaypur district. District Secretary
of CPN-UML Mani Raj Upadhyay, NC (D) chief Narayan Karki,
NC’s acting President Himal Karki and former District Development
Committee chairman Bed Prasad Pokharel were among those
detained. In Bara, police detained 31 protesters. In Birgunj,
among the 29 arrested, 21 were released after brief detention.
Police also arrested 15 persons, including former minister
Shiva Raj Joshi, in Nepalgunj, 6 in Pokhara, 6 in Tanahun
and 28 in Dang.
On 22 March 2005, over three-dozen Nepali Congress
(NC) leaders and cadres were arrested during protest demonstrations
demanding restoration of democracy and civil and political
rights. Five protestors of NC, including 72-year-old Chandra
Kanta Neupane, the NC regional representative, were arrested
in Chitwan district. In Lamjung, police arrested six NC
leaders including former minister Ram Bahadur Gurung and
former lawmaker Haribhakta Adhikari.Eight protestors belonging to NC were reportedly arrested in Rupandehi
district. In Birgunj, police rounded up eight NC cadres.
On 23 March 2005, police cracked
down on Nepali Congress (NC) leaders and cadres who took
out Satyagraha rallies for restoration of democracy
across the country. At least 20 party leaders and activists
were arrested – 9 in Siraha, 8 Bhairahawa and 3 Chitwan.
In Nawalaparasi, police reportedly handed down a three-month
detention warrant to NC district president Krishna Chandra
Nepali, who was arrested along with four other activists
during a demonstration on 21 March 2005. The four were released
on 23 March 2005. In Birgunj, eight NC activists, including
Parsa President Rajendra Bahadur Amatya, who were detained
on 21 March 2005, were sent to jail for three months.
On 24 March 2005, two-dozen Nepali Congress (NC) cadres
were reportedly arrested from various districts. 13 cadres,
including district members Somnath Sharma and Udayaraj Kafle,
were arrested from Rupandehi district. In Dadeldhura district,
8 NC cadres, including district president Sher Bahadur Dhant,
were arrested. NC general convention member from Taplejung
constituency, Junga Bahadur Basnet was arrested from Taplejung
On 27 March 2005, police arrested at
least two-dozen activists of Nepali Congress during a
‘civil disobedience’ campaign in different parts of the
country against the February 1 royal takeover. At least seven NC activists were arrested
in Kathmandu including former state ministers, Mahadev Gurung
and Pushkar Nath Ojha, Bhojpur district leader of the party
Chitra Bahadur Karki, Dan Bahadur Baniya of Okhaldhunga,
Jagat Prasad Joshi of Bajhang, Bal Bahadur Kunwar of Achham
and Purna Bahadur Dhakal of Jhapa. Six were arrested in
Narayanghat in Chitwan district. They included Chhabi Dhwaj
Budhathoki, Ram Mani Neupane, Devi Prasad Neupane, Bishnu
Prasad Bhushal, Rameshwor Basnet and Jhalak Gurung.At
least half-a-dozen protestors were rounded up in Tansen
in Palpa district.
On 28 March 2005, over 150 Nepali Congress party workers
were arrested during protests staged across the country.
Police detained 80 NC activists, including former parliamentarians
Chin Kazi Shrestha and Mukul Humagain, in Kathmandu. In
Liwang, the district headquarters of Rolpa, police arrested
11 political activists including erstwhile parliamentarian
Lekhnath Acharya. At least 41 NC cadres were arrested in
Tanahun, Shaynga and Kaski districts. 23 NC activists were
detained in Hetauda, Chitwan, Birgunj and Nepalgunj.
On 29 March 2005, police arrested 42 political activists
from across the country during anti-King protests.
On 29 March 2005, the Kathmandu district administration
gave three month’s detention orders for nearly 46 political
cadres arrested in the past including two former parliamentarians
Chin Kaji Shrestha and Shiva Humagai arrested on 28 March
On 30 March 2005, at least 29 Nepali Congress cadres
were arrested across the country during satyagraha
rallies demanding immediate restoration of democracy. Police
arrested 12 cadres in Biratnagar, 10 in Narayangadh and
six in Birgunj.
On 30 March 2005, seven NC
party workers including National Assembly member Khagendra
Raj Regmi who were arrested on 28 March 2005 were handed
over three-month detention orders. In Rolpa, seven more
NC cadres including former parliamentarian Lekhnath Acharya
were given three-month detention orders.
On 31 March 2005, about five-dozen Nepal Workers and
Peasants' Party (NWPP) activists were arrested in Patan,
Dailekh, Surkhet and Kailali during protest demonstrations
against the February 1 royal takeover. 18 NWPP activists
including central leader Buddhi Kumar Gosain and Gobinda
Duwal were arrested in Patan. Party's youth wing leader
Jagya Bahadur Shahi was arrested in Dailekh, along with
26 others. Police also arrested two youth leaders in Surkhet
and one in Kailali. Besides this, 9 NC cadres were arrested
by police in Rupandehi and two in Narayangadh while they
were staging satyagraha. Those arrested in Narayangadh are
Maha Prasad Bagale and Mani Prakash Khatiwada.
On 1 April 2005, nearly two
dozen activists of the United Left Front (ULF) were reportedly
detained by police in Kathmandu and Rautahat districts while
they were protesting the royal move of February 1. A statement
issued by president of ULF, C. P. Mainali, said 15 CPN (Marxist-Leninist)
leaders including former MPs Tanka Rai and Gopal Basnet
were detained from Kathmandu while eight other ULF activists
were detained in Rautahat.
On 4 April 2005, Police arrested six political activists
and two Nepal Student Union leaders from Birgunj for taking
out protest rallies, demanding the restoration of absolute
democracy and civil rights in the country.
On 4 April 2005, Police
reportedly denied former Prime Minister and president of
Nepali Congress (Democratic), Sher Bahadur Deuba access
to meet detained UML general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal
at his house at Koteswore.
On 17 March 2005, various student organizations took
out protest rallies against the February 1 royal take-over
in various parts of Kathmandu, including Bhotahity, Bangemuda,
Ason and Mahaboudha. Protest rallies were also held in major
towns across the country like Biratnagar, Janakpur, Pokhara,
Butwal and Nepalgunj.
launched crackdowns and immediately detained around two-dozen
student and youth leaders from various parts of the Kathmandu
Valley. Those detained included Padam Palunge and Niranjan
KC, central members of Nepal Tarun Dal, Bharat Shahi of
Nepal Student Union, Santosh Kattel, vice-president of NSU’s
Pashupati Campus unit, Kamal Regmi, chairman of NSU’s Amrit
Science Campus unit, Om Gurung of Ratna Rajya Campus and
Phanindra Niroula and Laxmi KC. In similar crackdown, Police
also detained Hari Rai, central member of Democratic National
Youth Federation (DNYF), DNYF Lalitpur district president
Hera Kaji Maharjan from Bangemudha, DNYF Bhaktapur district
committee president Bachan Deuja, and central committee
member Abdul from Bhaktapur.
On 22 March 2005, student leaders of Nepal Students’
Union (NSU)- Arjun Rimal and Madhusudan Ghimire were arrested
On 23 March 2005, police arrested Bandev Adhikari,
the president of Nepal Student Union, Balmiki Campus branch,
from Bhaktapur district.
On 27 March 2005 afternoon,
security personnel reportedly barged into Ratna Rajya Laxmi
Campus in central Kathmandu and arrested six students affiliated
with the All Nepal National Free Students Union (ANNFSU),
the student wing of the CPN (UML) for organizing a publicity
campaign against the February 1. They included Urmila
Karki, Devi Basnet, Bhava Nath Ghimire, Ajay Khanal, Rajesh
Prasai and Subash Thapa.
On 29 March 2005, police arrested at least eight students
from the protest rallies in Kathmandu. Police also arrested
15 students of Nepal Students Union in Para district, while
9 activists were arrested in Dang and 10 in Surkhet district.
On 30 March 2005, police arrested two student leaders
- Free Student Union President of Mahendra Ratna Campus
Mohan Gautam and Upendra Poudel - who were organizing a
welcome program for new comers in Kathmandu. They had received
District Administration Office's approval, but police broke
up their program.
On 4 April 2005, plain-clothes policemen
Nepal Student Union (NSU) vice-president Pradip Poudel and NSU
leader Dharma Khanal from the premises of Girija Prasad Koirala’s residence in Maharajgunj. They were returning after meeting the NC president
after his release from house arrest.
There are hundreds of political detainees in Nepal.
Of them 56 have been detained in Exhibition Road, 57 in
Mahendra Yuv Yavapaialai, Jawalakhel, 60 in Kharipati and
8 in Police Training Center, Maharajgunj, 4 in No. 2 Police
Barrack in Naxal, 5 in No. 1 Police Barrack, 13 in Armed
Police Training Center, Kakani, 3 in Hanumandhoka, 5 in
Singha Durbar Police Post, and one in Kalimati Police Post.
The detainees have been denied proper health and sanitation
facilities at the detention centers.
Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Paudel, who has
been kept under custody at District Police Office in Damauli
since February 1, is reported to be critically ill. According
to Dr Budhi Bahadur Thapa, who is attending him, Paudel
is suffering from diseases such as chest, teeth and urine
bladder problems. On 3 April 2005, he was reportedly
admitted to Western Regional Hospital in Pokhara.
The wife of NC leader Narhari Acharya, Sharda Sharma
said on 30 March 2005 that her husband has been kept under
security custody in a congested room at Bhaktapur without
proper medical treatment.
Nine political detainees including Nepali Congress
leader Nara Hari Acharya, former MPs Ram Nath Adhikari and
Gopal Rai, Kavre district chief of NC, Madhu Acharya and
student leader Kundan Kafle have reportedly been kept in
a single room in detention center at Kakani that lacks even
minimum facilities such as water supply and toilet. Nine
people have to share a single toilet and they are forced
to drink water, directly extracted from underground sources.
Deep Narayan Shah, a CPN-UML cadre who was arrested during
March 14-protest program in Jaleshwor, reportedly fainted
while in detention. He was rushed to hospital in an ambulance
but taken back to the detention center again. Shah was suffering
from respiratory and heart problems.
Dozens of political activists detained at the Mahendra
Police Club have started indefinite hunger strike from 31
March 2005 complaining they have been served inferior quality
food. The club houses 56 political activists, including
former members of parliament Mahadev Gurung, Pushkar Nath
Ojha and Bhojpur District leader of Nepali Congress Chitra
The government continues
to detain human rights activists, political leaders and
academics within Kathmandu valley.
On the morning of 19 March
2005, security personnel reportedly prevented Thakur Prasad
Sharma, former state minister for Water Resources, from
going to his home district, Dhading from Kathmandu. Mr Sharma
who was traveling on a private vehicle with five others
was stopped at Nagdhunga security checkpoint and asked to
return to Kathmandu after an hour of interrogation. The
security personnel deployed at the checkpoint cited travel
restriction on Mr Sharma as the reason behind their action.
25 March 2005, security personnel at the Tribhuvan International
Airport in Kathmandu barred Prof. Dr. Lok Raj Baral, Prof.
Krishna Khanal and Dr. Krishna Hachhethu from taking their
Jet Airways flight to Delhi on the way to Goa saying that
they had ‘orders
from the above’ not to let them leave Kathmandu. However,
according to Dr. Hachhethu, the security personnel refused
to give “any reason in writing” for stopping them. They were going to take part in the latest round
of seminar entitled “Democracy in South Asia” due to be
held in Goa.
Baral had been arrested from the Tribhuvan International Airport
upon his arrival from New Delhi on 7 February 2005. He was
detained for 18 days and later released following immense
pressure from national and international communities.
On 5 April 2005 afternoon,
security personnel at the Tribhuvan International Airport
barred three politicians including former MP and central
committee member of CPN (UML), Pradip Gyawali, joint general
secretary of Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Khem Raj Pandit,
and spokesman of Nepali Congress (Democratic), Dr Minendra
Rijal from flying to Colombo to take part in a seminar.
No reasons were given for prohibiting movement of the political
The restrictions on press freedom continue. On 17
March 2005, the Home Ministry re-issued a public notice
that action would be taken as per the Press and Publication
Act 2048 BS if anyone published prohibited interviews, articles,
news, information, reading materials, opinions or personal
views that directly or indirectly abet terrorism against
the intent and the spirit of the Royal proclamation on February
1. Following the directions
of the Home Ministry, on 22 March 2005, the District Administration
Offices (DAO) of Parsa and Birgunj issued a fresh 21-point directive
for local newspapers. The DAO said reports or write-ups
critical of Rastrasewaks (civil servants) or affecting their
morale is banned throughout the district from March 22.
It said any reports that provoke or affect public morale,
directly or indirectly shall also be illegal and punishable.
28 March 2005, the Local Administration of Narayangadh (Chitwan
district) again issued the same 21-point directives to the
local media with instructions not to publish any news that
discourages civil servants.
On 17 March 2005, Kathmandu District Police Office
summoned and interrogated Narayan Wagle, editor of the Kantipur
daily, for about 45 minutes about the news that reported
arrest of 750 political leaders and activists in the March
15 issue of Kantipur.
The Appellate Court of Tulsipur has issued an order
to the District Administrative Office, District Police Office
and Tulsipur jail to give written reply clearly stating
the reason behind the arrest and detention of journalist
Sarad Adhikari, who was arrested by police on 14 March 2005.
The court also ordered to produce Adhikari before it on
21 March 2005.
On 21 March 2005, the police reportedly detained journalist
of Nepal Samacharpatra daily, Kushal Babu Basnet who was
covering the protest rally in Gaighat of Udaypur district.
On 22 March 2005, Police seized photographs of protest
rallies from Krishna KC, president of Federation of Nepalese
Journalists (FNJ) Lamjung branch, when he was covering the
protest rally of Nepali Congress in Lamjung. Police also
allegedly warned KC against taking photographs of rallies
In a statement issued on
23 March 2005, the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ)
said at least ten journalists are still in custody in various
parts of the country. They include Lavadev Dhungana (Panchthar
district), Gopal Baraili (Dhankuta), Manohar Pokhrel and
Arjun Shah (Saptari), Rishiram Pokhrel (Tanahun), D. R.
Panta (Dadeldhura), Sharad Adhikari (Dang), Ganesh Lama
and Surya Thapa (Kathmandu) and Madhu Acharya (Kavre).
On the morning of 29 March
2005, police reportedly intervened into a peaceful rally
organized in Nuwakot by the Nuwakot district branch of the
FNJ. They confiscated the banner that pleaded for restoration
of press freedom and briefly took FNJ Nuwakot president,
Biswamitra Khanal, and other journalists into custody.
On 4 April 2005, security
personnel guarding the residence of the UML general secretary
Madhav Kumar Nepal under house arrest reportedly manhandled
journalists who were covering Sher Bahadur Deuba’s visit.
The security forces reportedly snatched away note pads,
camera and cassettes and forced the photojournalists to
delete the snaps they had taken. They even forced TV cameras
to delete their footage.
On 4 April 2005, Chitwan District Administration Office
(DAO) and the Police quizzed three district reporters of
Kantipur Publications - Prabhakar Ghimire, Narayan Sharma
and Khuman Singh Tamang separately. They were reportedly
interrogated about the news item published in the Kantipur
daily regarding the seven trucks torched by the Maoists.
The acting Chief District Officer Top Narayan Sharma and
Deputy Superintendent of Police Surendra Bahadur Shah interrogated
them for about two hours. During the interrogation, they
were asked why the news source was not mentioned while reporting.
Sharma also asked the journalists to verify the news from
district administration or security source before reporting.
The state-run Radio Nepal
has reportedly blocked news transmissions of BBC World Service
that it had agreed to relay over 103 FM in Kathmandu. No
reasons have been given. Radio Nepal had started relaying
the BBC World Service programmes from early November 2004
after entering into a contract with the latter.
The royal government has
already barred over 50 FM radio stations in the country
from airing news and current-affairs based programmes immediately
after the imposition of the state of emergency on February
On 31 March 2005, the Supreme Court decided to accept
writ petitions related to fundamental rights, which have
not been suspended during the state of emergency. After
the imposition of emergency since February 1, the apex court
has been only taking the cases related to habeas corpus.
In its verdict, the apex court said it is illogical to think
that right to constitutional remedy has been suspended during
the times of emergency.
On 1 April 2005, the Supreme Court in its full text
verdict of a habeas corpus case said, "It is inappropriate
and unconstitutional to strip citizens of their personal
liberties, arrest and detain them in illegal and arbitrary
manner; to deprive a detainee from his right to being informed
of the reasons of his arrest at the earliest possible, and
meeting a lawyer of his/her choice; to refrain a detainee
from his right to be presented before a judicial authority.”
It also said the declaration of emergency, and any order
issued during an emergency period by the king, which remain
effective as law throughout the emergency stretch, cannot
limit habeas corpus since habeas corpus is an independent
constitutional provision. The Supreme Court also ruled that
only the chief district officer not the police can exercise
the Public Security Act. In many cases police have been
found exercising the Public Security Act to detain supporters
However, the Supreme Court continues to play dilly-delaying
tactics. On 24 March 2005, the Supreme Court deferred the
final hearing on the habeas corpus petition questioning
the legality of Dalit leader Man Bahadur Biswakarma’s detention
citing "lack of time" within office hour. He was
arrested on February 28. On 14 March 2005, the apex court
had deferred the hearings on five habeas corpus cases on
the same ground.
There is little respect for the court. On 30 March
2005, some detainees including Dalit Sangh leader Man Bahadur
Bishwokarma and student leaders Prakash Rawat and Tika Dutta
Adhikari were released following Supreme Court orders. The
Court on 29 March 2005 had asked the government to release
the leaders, but the process was delayed as the police officer
guarding the detention center refused to comply with the
court's orders, saying he was responsible to the district
administration, not the Court. A court official had to rush
to District Administration Office of Kathmandu to serve
the order. But no action was taken against the concerned police officer for
blatant contempt of court.
On 31 March 2005, security
personnel re-arrested Bhala Kaji Tamang, a resident of Tapting
VDC-8 of Solukhumbu district, after he was released on 30
March 2005 pursuant to an order passed by the Supreme Court
on a habeas corpus petition. Tamang was earlier arrested
on 11 February 2005 and detained under TADO.
On 28 March 2005, in response
to separate habeas corpus petitions, the Supreme Court ordered
the release of three students and a youth activist affiliated
to opposition political parties. Upon hearing the petition
filed on behalf of student leader, Medini Sitaula, a division
bench of the apex court, comprising Justices Ram Nagina
Singh and Rajendra Kumar Bhandari, held that Sitaula had
been detained illegally and ordered his immediate release.
A former vice president of Nepal Student Union, the student
wing of opposition Nepali Congress, Sitaula had been taken
into custody nearly a month ago from Kathmandu. The apex
court has also ordered release of student activists, Lochan
KC, and Mahesh Devkota who are affiliated to ANNFSU, the
student wing of the CPN (Marxist-Leninist), and Mahesh Basnet,
central committee member of Democratic National Youth Organisation
– the youth wing of the CPN (UML).
On 1 April 2005, three student
activists including president of the student wing of the
Nepali Congress (Democratic), Kishore Rathore, were released
as per the order of the Supreme Court.The Supreme Court held that
Rathor, president of Nepal Students' Union, was being “detained
illegally without any justification” since February 1.
The Maoists continue to
be responsible for gross violations of international humanitarian
laws. The Maoists continue to target the schools. On 2 April 2005, Maoist rebels
reportedly abducted Begam Bahadur KC, head teacher of Janata
Secondary School at Bagdula in Pyuthan district.On
the night of 2 April 2005, suspected Maoists exploded a
bomb at the Dipendra Police Boarding School at Guleriya in Dang district.
The explosion reportedly caused a loss of an estimated Rs
1.6 million. The
school was serving as an examination center for students
taking School Leaving Certificate examination.
On 3 April 2005
at around 5:00 p.m., a student was killed and two others were
seriously injured when a bomb planted by suspected Maoists
went off at a shopping complex at Mahendrapul in the western
town of Pokhara. Earlier
on the morning of 3 April 2005, four persons - two school
girls on their way to their SLC examination centre and two
security personnel - were reportedly injured when a bomb
planted by suspected Maoists went off at Dharmachowk in
Bharatpur Municipality in Chitwan.
In order to impose their
bandh, the Maoists also targeted heath care facilities.
On the morning of 1 April 2005, Maoist rebels reportedly
set on fire an ambulance at Chhinchu VDC in the mid-western
district of Surkhet. The ambulance (plate no. Ba 3 Cha 8654)
was on its way to Birendranagar, Surkhet carrying patients
from Kohalpur of Banke district. The armed rebels stopped
the ambulance and set it ablaze after forcing the patients
and other people out of it.
Many families had to flee their homes in Kapilvastu
due to violence between vigilantes and Maoists. One of those
displaced is Raju Nisha from Hathihawa VDC. She said Maoists
burnt three of her brothers-in-law to death on 26 February
2005 “on the charge that they were involved in the (anti-Maoist)
resistance movement”. 13-year-old Indra Mani Pandey, a grade
five student from Pithuwa VDC says, "Maoists will chop
off our heads if we go back home. 12-year-old Arjun Yadav
from Bishanpura said, “The Maoists said they will behead
me and my parents.”
On 20 March 2005, at least three children were injured
when a bomb allegedly left behind by the Maoists exploded
at Dhangadi bazaar, headquarters of Kailali district.
On 27 March 2005, three minors
were killed and three others injured when a bomb left by
suspected Maoists exploded in Mujeyliya of Janakpur, Dhanusha
district. According to Ratnaraj Pandey, the Chief District
Officer of Dhanusha district, the victims have been identified
as Saroj Yadav (10), his 14-year-old brother Ashok and another
15-year-old Mahesh Yadav.
Alleged Maoist rebels reportedly
killed Madhav Prasad Sedhai, chairman of Small Peasants’
Cooperative in Jiwanpur VDC in Dhading district after his
abduction. His body was recovered from a forest near the
village on 27 March 2005.
On 27 March 2005, the Public
Relations Secretariat of the RNA confirmed that three unarmed
security personnel kidnapped by the Maoists on 26 March
2005 from the Khimti area of Ramechap district have been
found murdered. They were taken to the Jafe area of the
district, their hands tied up and were attacked with a Kukri
(a type of curved knife) before being gunned down.
On the morning of 29 March 2005, at least nine people,
including two minors, were injured when Maoists detonated
a pressure cooker bomb at the shop of a local businessman
Hira Bahadur Shrestha in Butwal. Victims Binu Pun and her
son have been brought to Kathmandu for treatment, while
a rickshaw puller Jhagat Gupta has been rushed to Lumbini.
The rest are being treated at Lumbini hospital.
On 30 March 2005, Maoists shot dead Deputy Superintendent
Officer Mahesh K.C. of National Investigation Regional Department
in Pokhara. According to Gopendra Bahadur Pandey, Spokesperson
at the Home Ministry, two Maoists traveling on a motorcycle
had fired three shots at KC at his house in Rambazaar-15,
Pokhara. He later succumbed to his injuries in NORVIC Hospital,
On the evening of 31 March
2005, suspected Maoist rebels reportedly shot dead the chairman
of Sindhuli Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Narayan
Kumar Shrestha (64), at his residence at Dhungrebas of Kamalamai
Municipality. Shrestha was also an active social worker.
On 1 April 2005, editor
and publisher of ‘Dharan Today’ newspaper, Khagendra Shrestha
reportedly succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment
at a hospital in Indian town of Siliguri nearly three weeks
after he was fatally shot at by suspected Maoist rebels
in March 15.
On the morning of 1 April 2005, Maoist rebels shot
dead Ram Lal Moktan (40), an ex-Indian army man of Chungmang
VDC-1 in Dhankuta. Three armed rebels came to Moktan's house,
took him a kilometer west of his house and shot him dead.
On 1 April 2005 afternoon, a rickshaw-puller was killed
in a series of bomb blasts at the Agriculture Development
Office, B.P. Chowk, Transport Office, Municipality Office
and Tribhuvan Chowk in Nepalgunj. Eighteen other persons
were injured in the blasts.
On the morning of 2 April
2005, a civilian identified as Ram Bahadur Gurung (51) was
killed on the spot when a landmine planted by suspected
Maoists on the highway near Khaireni in Gorkha district
On 19 March 2005, an unidentified
group abducted seven staff members of the Nepal Electricity
Authority (NEA) from Triveni at Sankhejug VDC in Ilam district.
They have been identified as technicians Mohan Shrestha,
Chakendra Thapa, Man Bahadur Rai, Kumarsingh Damai, Tilak
Shrestha, Nagendra Shrestha and driver Ram Bahadur Thapa. Five of them were released on 26 March
2005. The other two were released on 31 March
On 26 March 2005, Maoists
reportedly seized a vehicle and VSAT equipment belonging
to the Nepal Telecom (NT) from Wadanda of Pyuthan district.
The equipment was being transported to Pyuthan district
from Kathmandu. Four NT employees, including three engineers,
were taken into custody for a few hours. However, they were
On 4 April 2005, villagers in Rabargunj VDC retaliated
against six armed Maoists, who came to abduct Chet Narayan
Mahato, the VDC chairman. The previous day, the Maoists
had abducted his son, Sunil Mahato when they did not find
him. Some 400 villagers chased away the rebels and caught
one of them identified as Ramesh Acharya. He was later handed
over to the police.
On 5 April 2005, armed Maoist rebels reportedly abducted
over 100 students, who had completed their School Leaving
Certificate (SLC) examination in the morning of the same
day, from Barbote and Sukumbe villages in Ilam district.
On 16 March 2005, suspected
Maoists detonated powerful bombs at the offices of state-owned
Nepal Telecom Company (NTC), District Survey Office and
District Forest Office in Inaruwa
in Sunsari district in eastern Nepal. The explosions have disrupted
telephone connections in the district. The state-run Gorkhapatra
daily said the explosions caused a loss of over Rs 500 million
rupees. The explosions at the District Forest Office and
District Survey Office have damaged government records including
map and field books and caused a loss worth Rs five million.
On the night of 21 March 2005, Maoists bombed building
of the Employees’ Provident Fund Regional Office in Banke.
Office works have come to a halt following the incident.
On 20 March 2005, Maoist
rebels torched a bus at Sambhunath area of the Mahendra
Highway in Siraha. On 26 March 2005, alleged Maoist rebels
torched two Indian tankers parked in front of the office
of Nepal Lever Limited (NLL) at Hetauda. The tankers plated
DLIGA 2546 and 2521 were used by NLL to import chemicals
from India. On the night of 1 April 2005, suspected
Maoists burned down seven trucks loaded with cement and
foodstuff at Jalbire area along the Narayanghat-Mungling
3 April 2005, the Ministry of Home said the Regional Administration
of Hetauda had been directed to provide compensation to
the torched vehicles.
On 3 April 2005, Maoists
called 11-day strike to protest against the February 1 royal
takeover. The impact of the strike was more visible in rural
areas, where the Maoists regularly enforce strikes and blockades.
Armed Nepali soldiers escorted vehicles to prevent guerilla
attacks. On April 3 itself, the Royal Nepalese Army reportedly
escorted over 800 vehicles leaving Kathmandu along the Prithvi
On 1 April 2005, the National Human Rights Commission
in a press statement urged the government to immediately
form a committee to probe the violence in Kapilvastu, and
provide compensation for victims “without any prejudice”.
The NHRC recommendation came after its team carried out
investigation in Kapilvastu district from March 19 to 25.
The Commission report also held security personnel responsible
for not taking any measure to control the violence.The Maoist Retaliation Committee
(MRC) of villagers in the district had killed about three-dozen
alleged Maoists, after the latter abducted two villagers
in the second week of March 2005. Villagers led by the MRC
had also torched over 400 houses of alleged Maoists. Maoists,
on the other hand, killed about two dozen villagers on the
charge of joining the retaliation committee. The NHRC however
failed to name those killed by the Village Defense Committee.
On 4 April 2005, ten human
rights organizations heavily criticized the National Human
Rights Commission (NHRC) of Nepal for issuing an "incomplete"
statement on April 1 regarding human rights violations and
excesses committed by the vigilantes in Kapilavastu. A joint
statement issued by these human rights organizations said
the NHRC remained tightlipped on the number of people killed.
The statement also criticized the NHRC for not carrying
out the investigation on its own, arguing that probes by
the government would be "less effective".