File photo of Nanda Prasad Adhikari and his wife Ganga Maya.
A fast unto death by an elderly couple seeking justice for their son, allegedly murdered by Maoists during the civil war, has shaken the government and political establishment in Nepal.
Nanda Prasad Adhikari and his wife Ganga Maya are on a fast for over a month now seeking fair investigation and punishment to those guilty of killing their son Krishna Prasad, 18, in 2004.
The couple from Gorkha district admitted at the intensive care unit of Bir Hospital in Kathmandu has managed to rally rights activists seeking justice for all such cases during the civil war.
It has rattled the interim election government and polarised political parties.
Maoists say it could disrupt the forthcoming polls and even threatened revolt if action is taken against their cadres.
Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda says such cases should be dealt by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and not by other courts.
As per the peace deal signed in 2006, TRC was to investigate all cases of human rights violations and disappearances during the civil war. But due to differences between parties it is yet to be formed.
"Apparently the Maoists no longer believe in justice, at least when it comes to investigating their own crimes," said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director of Human Rights Watch in a release.
Other rights bodies like International Commission of Jurists and those within Nepal have urged the government to conduct a quick and fair investigation into this particular case and others.
Though the government restarted probe into the murder nearly a fortnight ago, there has been no headway and no one has been arrested yet.
Earlier this week chairman of the interim government Khil Raj Regmi visited the couple and urged them to end their fast. Various political parties have also asked them to do the same.
But the couple who is being administered intravenous fluids has refused to eat till at least one of the guilty is arrested.
The fast has also given hope of justice to the families of nearly 13,000 killed and around 1,400 who disappeared during the civil war due to atrocities by Maoists as well as government forces.