Alerts govt about possible consequences if Chaudhari dies in prison
KATHMANDU, March 11: Leaders of the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) on Saturday met Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa and demanded immediate release of Resham Chaudhary, who was elected member of parliament from Kailali on an RJPN ticket. He is alleged to be the mastermind behind the Tikapur carnage.
At a meeting with Home Minister Thapa held at the latter's residence on Saturday, RJPN leaders claimed that the charges against Chaudhary were political in nature and called on the government to deal with the matter accordingly. RJPN leaders had also asked the home minister to allow Chaudhary to take his oath of office as member of parliament.
Chaudhary, along with 25 people arrested on the charge of lynching seven policemen and a toddler during anti-constitution protests in 2015, has been staging a fast-unto-death after he surrendered to police two weeks ago. Chaudhary was airlifted from Kailali to Kathmandu on Saturday in view of the sudden deterioration in his condition.
"Right now, we want the government to set him free without any preconditions. The government should withdraw the cases against everyone arrested in connection with the Kailali incident," RJPN leader Mahanta Thakur told Republica.
At the meeting, the RJPN leaders had urged the home minister not to look at the Kailali incident purely from a criminal angle. They alerted the home minister about the possible consequences if Chaudhary were to die in prison.
"It is unfair to treat him as a criminal. Why would the people elect him if he were a criminal? If anything happens to him, it would be unfortunate for all of us," one party leader present at the meeting quoted Thakur as saying.
During the meeting, Thapa told the RJPN leaders that he was closely following the Chaudhary case. Though he did not made any specific pledge to release Chaudhary, citing the sub juice nature of the case, he said the government was positive toward allowing him to take his oath of office.
Thapa also said he too was for finding a political solution to the Tikapur incident but clarified that an appropriate decision would be taken after consultations with Prime Minister Oli.
Saturday's discussions with the home minister was the latest in a series of meetings held by RJPN lawmakers seeking Chaudhary's release. Thakur had separately talked on the phone with Prime Minister Oli on Thursday and Friday.
"We have found everyone positive toward finding a political solution to the Chaudhary case. But mere words do not change anything," said Thakur.