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Nepal to release Maoists if they agree to dialogue

A day after declaration of ceasefire, the interim Govt said they were free to hold public meetings but without weapons.

india Updated: May 04, 2006 14:46 IST
Shirish B Pradhan (PTI)
Shirish B Pradhan (PTI)

Expressing hope that the rebels will come to the negotiation table, Nepal's new government on Thursday said it was willing to release Maoist leaders from jail if the rebels agree to dialogue.

A day after the declaration of ceasefire with the rebels, the interim government also said they were free to hold public meetings and rallies but without carrying weapons.

"To move ahead the process first they must show willingness to come for dialogue and I hope they will," Minister for Housing and Physical Planning Gopalman Shrestha said.

The government has already called for dialogue with the rebels and created conducive atmosphere for them to come to the negotiation table, Shrestha, Nepali Congress (Democratic) leader, said.

"After getting response from the rebels, the next cabinet meeting will decide about releasing the Maoists who are in jail," he said.

Healso added that once the decision is taken the procedure for withdrawing the cases will follow.

The government will also make official request to the government of India to release those Maoist leaders detained in Indian jail after some time, the Minister said.

The government will also form a team for dialogue and formulate code of conduct to implement ceasefire effectively and honestly, he added.

He said Maoists should not carry weapons while moving around and organizing their programmes just like other political parties.

First Published: May 04, 2006 14:46 IST