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Maoists still wary of Nepal army

world Updated: Jul 24, 2007 01:17 IST
Anirban Roy

Even after eight months after joining mainstream politics, Maoist ministers are still not convinced that Nepal Army (NA) soldiers would not assassinate them.

Five Maoist ministers on Sunday evening sent back the personnels provided by the government for the security of their official bungalows in Kathmandu.

In a meeting held on Monday at the residence of Information and communication minister Krishna Mahara, ministers accused Koirala of ‘conspiring’ against them. They claimed that the NA soldiers in addition to Mahara, local development minister Dev Gurung, physical planning minister Hisila Yami, forest minister Matrika Yadav, and social welfare minister Khadga Bahadur Biswokarma refused the deployment of soldiers of NA’s Bhairabnath battalion in their bungalows.

“It was shocking that the government has sent soldiers from the NA’s battalion involved in the killing and disappearance of many civilians in the recent past,” Mahara, who is also the government spokesperson, told Hindustan Times on Monday.

The UN Office of the High Commission for Human Right s (OHCHR) in Nepal had reported that at least 49 detainees, mostly Maoist cadres from Bhairabnath battalion’s custody had gone missing during the decade-long Janayuddha (Peoples’ War), Mahara claimed.

The Maoist ministers claimed that the NA soldiers were sent to guard their official residences without any consultations with them. “This indeed has created serious doubts,” Dev Gurung, said, adding that the issue is also being discussed with Koirala and Maoist chief, Prachanda.

The Maoist MPs also demanded that the prime minister, who also holds the defence portfolio, should immediately answer the parliament on the issue.