Ruling party accuses Maoists of killing a member

By Sudeshna Sarkar, IANS

Kathmandu : A ruling party in Nepal Monday said the Maoists – who are part of the coalition government – had killed one of its members in gross violation of the peace pact.

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Netra Bahadur Shahi, a member of former prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba's Nepali Congress (Democratic) or NCD, was abducted from Dare village in the mountainous Humla district in the remote north about four months ago and killed last week, the party said.

"Shahi was taken captive by a group of Maoists who even wrote to the local police station saying they had 'arrested' him for being a criminal," former education minister and NCD general secretary Bimalandra Nidhi told IANS.

"It is there in black and white. The Maoists told police they were planning to hand Shahi over but he managed to give them the slip. Then the man went missing. Nobody had seen him. Four months later, his body is found."

Two months ago, the party sent a team to talk with the Maoists about Shahi. However, the party said the Maoists attacked the team, badly injuring its leader, Jeevan Bahadur Shahi.

After the discovery of the abducted man's body last week, it was brought to Kathmandu Sunday and taken to the Teaching Hospital for autopsy.

"We condemn the killing," Nidhi said. "Such activities are going to have an adverse effect on the coming election. You need a peaceful environment for free and fair polls."

News of the killing comes two days after the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal released a report, saying Maoist abuses had risen since April. The UN agency also asked Maoist supremo Prachanda to rein his cadres in.

The deteriorating law and order situation last month forced the government to defer the election from June 20 to Nov 22. However, there has been increasing violence since then in the capital, the outer districts and especially in the Terai plains in the south.

Both the NCD and the second largest party in parliament, Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist, say the Maoists have been spreading terror through unabated killings, abduction and violence.