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Girls raped in public in Gaur: rights activist

world Updated: Mar 26, 2007 15:37 IST

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Five Maoist girls were allegedly gang raped in public, mutilated and later burnt to death in south Nepal during a clash between the former rebels and the Madhesis that claimed 29 lives, a rights activist has said.

According to eye-witness accounts, the girls were raped by cadres of the Madhesi People's Rights Forum, their breasts were chopped off, faces burnt and then set afire, leading human rights activist and a former minister Mathura Shrestha told The Kathmandu Post after visiting the site of the carnage.

Twenty-nine Maoists, mostly the members of the Young Communist League, were killed on March 21 during the clash between them and the MPRF activists in Gaur near the Indian border.

The incident occurred when the Maoists and the MPRF, who were holding programmes simultaneously at the same venue in Gaur, got into an altercation.

Shrestha claimed that the MPRF hired at least two dozen professional killers to attack the Maoists. At least 40 people sustained injures and 50 are still missing.

The police have so far arrested seven persons suspected to be involved in the killings. The government has formed a probe committee to inquire into the incident and asked it to submit a report within 15 days.

Nepal's Parliament yesterday passed a special resolution condemning the killing and instructed the government to take stern action against the culprits. The leaders of the seven- party alliance described the incident as a "crime against humanity".

The government stepped up security in several districts of eastern Terai in view of violent demonstrations announced by the MPRF and also issued prohibitory orders in some areas to prevent clashes.