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Lawyer who challenged Nepal Army brutally assaulted


Kathmandu : A lawyer and human rights activist who challenged Nepal’s controversial army was brutally assaulted by security forces, apparently in a bid to intimidate him into ending his legal battle.

Shrikrishna Subedi, who works with the human rights organisation Injured International, was stopped by a police patrol in Kathmandu Valley Tuesday night and thrashed mercilessly.

A day earlier, he and other lawyers had filed a petition in the Supreme Court, asking to stop the army from making fresh recruitment in violation of the peace pact signed between the government and the then banned Maoist party in 2006.

On Wednesday, Subedi was to have argued the case in court before proceeding to New Delhi to attend the People’s SAARC Summit there.

While going home at night, Subedi says he was followed by a man on a motorcycle and stopped by a police patrol who asked him for identification.

When he gave his name, Subedi says the men asked him whether he was the lawyer. The man behind him reportedly told the patrol he was the same man.

At that, the lawyer says the cops kicked his motorcycle down and as he fell, began showering blows on him. He was hit on the face and kicked mercilessly till he passed out.

The men then took him to a nearby hospital and got him admitted, saying he had a motorcycle accident. Subedi needed six stitches.

While police deny any hand in the attack, saying he suffered a motorcycle accident, Subedi says in the past too when he had filed a previous writ against army recruitment, he had received threats on the phone.

This week, after Subedi’s petition, the court has asked the government, the defence ministry and the chief of Nepal Army to show cause why they have started fresh recruitment.

Though the peace pact says neither the army nor the Maoist guerrilla army will make any fresh recruitment till the peace negotiation is concluded, the army this week began a process to appoint over 270 people, mostly as doctors and technicians.