PMO seeks clarification from ministry over barring of Bista from flying

Published On: August 28, 2018 07:09 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Aug 28: Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers has sent a letter to the home ministry, seeking a written reply within 24 hours why Lenin Bista, a former child militant, was barred from flying to Thailand to attend a seminar. 

In an interaction with editors of major news outlets including broadsheet dailies on Monday, Prime Minister KP Oli said that his office had written a letter to the home ministry after the incident came to his notice. “I am looking into this case,” said Prime Minister Oli.

Citing “orders from the higher-ups”, immigration officials on Friday morning had stopped Bista from going to Thailand, where he was to attend a five-day event titled “Youth in Conflict Areas: Healing and Peace Building through Social Engagement”. 

Prime Minister Oli also claimed that he did not know about the incident. In case of Vice Chancellor of Nepal Sanskrit University Kul Prasad Koirala, Prime Minister Oli tried to defend the government move. Koirala was stopped at Tribhuvan International Airport before he could catch a flight to Canada to attend World Sanskrit Congress and ‘detained’ at the prime minister’s residence for hours. 

In a separate context, Prime Minister Oli said the government was committed to nabbing the culprit behind the rape and murder of Nirmala Panta, 13, from Kanchanpur. “We all relied on police. That’s what I did as well. We have to trust the institutions,” Oli said as he called the incident “horrible.” 

The prime minister added that the Central Investigation Bureau had gone there to investigate the case and another person was arrested before CIB’s report. “We saw suspicious activities in the interrogations police conducted with the victim’s father. As a result, we changed the whole team – from the chief district officer, DSP and recalled the SP,” he said. “We will leave no stones unturned to nab the real culprit,” Oli said. 

Prime Minister Oli also assured that the government was ready to amend the provisions in Civic Code and Criminal Code that pose threat to the freedom of press. He, however, expressed dissatisfaction that the provisions in these codes were protested a year after they were promulgated. 


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