Nepal Army has given a clean chit to a controversial military commander, who was sent back from a UN peacekeeping mission for his alleged role in human rights violation linked to the torture and subsequent murder of a 15-year-old Nepalese girl during the country's civil war.
Controversial Major Niranjan Basnet was sent back from a UN peacekeeping mission in Chad last December for his alleged involvement in human rights violation in the Maina Sunar case.
"Even going by the definition of the Military Act itself, it is clear that the Army was acting against a common enemy then and functioning under Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Control and Punishment) Ordinance 2002 (TADA)," Major General BA Kumar Sharma, chief of the the Nepal Army's Legal Department, was quoted as saying by the myrepublica online, the website of the Republica daily.
"Therefore there is no case against Basnet," he underlined, after a clean chit to Major Basnet after eight months of investigations.
The Army Court of Inquiry has concluded that Basnet is "innocent" and that he was returned by the UN "against all international norms and regulations," the report said.
According to the Nepali daily, a decision to this effect was endorsed by the Defence Ministry recently. The army had sent a letter to the ministry two months back defending Niranjan and requesting that his case be withdrawn immediately, it said.
"The verdicts of our military courts are recognised internationally, so the UN has flouted all norms in sending Basnet back," an army source said.
"This is also an attempt to discredit our institution, Basnet's case is a closed chapter," he underlined.
Basnet served with the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) in 2006 before returning to an assignment in Nepal. He was sent back from the UN mission for Chad and the Central African Republic (MINURCAT) in December last year.
Kavre District Court had ordered Basnet's suspension in September last year on the basis of a case filed by Sunar's mother.