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Arrest warrant against Nepal minister for slapping govt. official

world Updated: Nov 13, 2009 15:17 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
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The Nepal Police have issued an arrest warrant against a woman minister in the Madhav Kumar Nepal government for allegedly slapping a senior official earlier this week.

Police in Parsa district issued the warrant against Minister of State for Agriculture and Cooperatives Karima Begum on charges of assaulting Chief District Officer Durga Prasad Bhandari on Tuesday.

Upset with the official for sending an old car to pick her up from airport, Begum allegedly slapped him five times in public. Bhandari told journalists that he sent an old vehicle as there was no other in his possession.

The warrant was issued after the CDO’s bodyguard lodged a case against Begum on Thursday. Police spokesperson Bigyan Raj Sharma told reporters that the warrant has been circulated to several districts to arrest the minister.

While Begum initially admitted to having slapped the official for sending an old car, she later changed stance and stated that her anger was directed against Bhandari for failing to carry out developmental work.

The incident has affected work in government offices and banks at Parsa for the past four days with employees abstaining from work demanding action against the minister belonging to Madheshi People’s Rights Forum (Democratic).

Terming the incident as deplorable, the National Human Rights Commission has also issued a release asking ministers and bureaucrats to behave. Without naming anyone, it asked both to be dignified in their dealings.

The Home Ministry had earlier regretted mistreatment of the official by Begum and on Thursday the parliamentary party meeting of MPRF (Democratic), a coalition partner of the ruling government, also discussed the issue.