Maoists want Manisha’s dad’s property nationalised

By Sudeshna Sarkar, IANS

Kathmandu : After their attempt to strip King Gyanendra of the property he inherited from his dead ancestors and put it to public use, Nepal’s Maoist guerrillas have now trained their guns on Bollywood actor Manisha Koirala’s father, urging the same treatment for him for supporting the king’s army-backed rule in the past.

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Prakash Koirala, who is also the nephew of Nepal’s all-powerful Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, faces fresh Maoist wrath for having supported the 15-month royal regime and campaigned for the controversial municipal election held by the king last year.

The Young Communist League, the powerful youth wing of the Maoists, kicked off a campaign Saturday to mount pressure on Koirala to abolish King Gyanendra’s crown and declare Nepal a republic before the crucial November election.

As part of their public exposure campaign, the rebels Sunday started with dozens of royalist ministers and government officials, who were indicted by a commission formed to bring to justice the people who abetted the misdeeds of the royal regime.

Besides Prakash Koirala, the campaign also targeted former ministers Tanka Dhakal, Narayan Singh Pun and Jagat Gauchan, the king’s former advisor Parashu Narayan Chaudhury, and former aide de camp Bharat Keshar Simha, a retired army general who also heads the controversial World Hindu Federation.

Though the Rayamajhi Commission recommended punitive action against the former ministers and suggested they be barred from taking part in the election, the royalists received a shot in the arm last week after the Supreme Court ruled they could contest the polls.

As part of their fresh campaign, the Maoists want the commission-indicted to be ostracised and their properties to be nationalised.

Publicly calling them corrupt, the rebels have launched a campaign to mark their residences so that people know where they live.

Prakash Koirala is the son of late B.P. Koirala, one of Nepal’s most respected politicians and the first elected prime minister.

Ironically, while Prakash Koirala supported King Gyanendra’s coup in 2005, his father was sacked and jailed in a similar coup in the past by the king’s father, the late king Mahendra.

Though Prakash Koirala, who was expelled from his father’s Nepali Congress party, has been maintaining a low profile since the fall of the king’s government in April, Manisha, who visited Nepal several times since then, has defied public anger against the monarch to say he should have been supported.