September 21, 2016 03:00 AM NPT
Maoist leaders 'assured' of not being summoned
KATHMANDU, Sept 21: The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has been preparing to write to Maoist leaders, summoning them over financial irregularities at Maoist cantonments, said an official.
CIAA deputy spokesman Khagendra Prasad Rijal told Republica on Tuesday that they are discussing sending letters to some Maoist leaders allegedly involved in irregularities at the cantonments.
"We have not sent summons letters to any leaders yet, but we are discussing the matter. Letters would be sent one by one to leaders rather than sending all at once," said Rijal.
The CIAA through a press conference on Friday had announced that it will summon Maoist leaders over the irregularities at the cantonments.
However, the CPN (Maoist Center) leaders have said that they have been assured they would not be summoned in the investigation over cantonments irregularities. "We don't think the CIAA will write to any Maoist leaders. Rumors that Maoist leaders would be summoned are just propaganda as the CIAA has already closed the file," said Maoist leader Agni Sapkota.
According to another Maoist leader, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who is also the chairman of the CPN (Maoist Center), had urged Maoist leaders not to panic over CIAA's announcement. "It was just a case trumped by a faction in the CPN-UML, especially it's chairman K P Oli, to demoralize the Maoist party," the leader quoted Dahal as saying at the meeting of party headquarters on Monday.
Multiple sources knowledgeable about the issue assumed that the list of those leaders and other officials who might be dragged into the case might be long. They said those involved in decision-making process in releasing the money in the name of Maoist combatants and the cantonments may include Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal himself, who is also the chairman of the CPN (Maoist Center), Vice-President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Finance Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Energy Minister Janardan Sharma and Prime Minister's Political Advisor Chakrapani Khanal aka Baldev and other brigade commanders of the Maoist army. Similarly, former peace minister Ram Chandra Paudel, former finance minister Ram Sharan Mahat, former home minister Krishna Sitaula and another former peace minister Rakam Chemjong and officials from concerned government departments involved in issuing money for the purpose are likely to be dragged into the case.
Maoist Center spokesperson Pampha Bhusal said the party headquarters meeting on Wednesday is likely to discuss the issue. "Today (Tuesday) the meeting was focussed on the prime minister's India visit. The CIAA issue is likely to be discussed tomorrow," said Bhusal.
Meanwhile, Maoist leaders speaking at the party meeting Tuesday criticized party chairman Dahal over a point in Nepal-India joint statement which says Nepal and India hold similar views on major international issues and will work in close coordination with each other in the United Nations and other international fora, according to party leaders.