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Maoists detain 'suspicious' people linked to video leak

world Updated: May 07, 2009 20:32 IST
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Nepal Maoists have detained some "suspicious" people for "interrogation" on charges of leaking a video footages of caretaker Prime Minister Prachanda’s controversial instruction to his PLA guerrillas, a news report said on Thursday.

The 16-month-old video footages, which was aired by a private television channel immediately after Prachanda stepped down from the premier's post, showed the Maoist supremo giving instructions to his cadres, saying his real motive was to capture state power and the participation in the election last year was just a political strategy.

The Maoists have started "interrogation" of the people involved in the shooting of the videos and other audio-video programmes of the party, Image FM radio said, quoting party sources.

Prachanda told mediapersons yesterday that his party is seriously probing into the leak of the footage though he was not bothered about it.

As per the footage, Prachanda told his party cadres that their real strength of the guerrilla force PLA was little more than 7,000 and not 35,000 as claimed earlier to the UNMIN monitors.

Maoist supremo Prachanda had told the cadres that his party’s main objective was to capture power and for that he was planning to merge 20,000 guerrillas verified by the UN into the Nepal Army. He had said that the party was buying more weapons for their army as their final objective is to capture power.

The footage was taken in January 2008, just two months before the Constituent Assembly polls.

However, Prachanda has clarified that the footage was taken in different circumstances and it does not apply in the present context. He clarified that the Maoists are now committed to multi-party democracy, human rights and press freedom and they will not run away by abandoning the peace process.

During a press conference yesterday Prachanda alleged that the tape was made public at this sensitive time to defame the Maoists and derail the peace process. Nepali Congress has raised serious concern over the footage of Prachanda.

Nepal has descended into political crisis on Sunday when President Ram Baran Yadav overruled Prime Minister Prachanda's order to sack Army Chief Gen Rukmangad Katawal.

The President's action to reinstate the army chief prompted Prachanda to resign, sparking a political crisis in the country, which has been struggling to establish a democracy after the abolition of the unpopular 240-year old monarchy last year.

The move also shattered the Himalayan nation's fragile stability - achieved after the Maoists ended their decade-long insurgency and joined mainstream politics after a 2006 peace deal with the interim government led by GP Koirala.