Govt endorses committee report on talks with Chand group
July 26, 2019 06:00 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, July 26: The government has endorsed the report submitted by a Political Dialogue Committee headed by lawmaker Som Prasad Pandey. Implementation of the report will pave the way for dealing with the outlawed Chand-led group as a “political” entity and holding negotiations to address its demands.
According to Minister for Communications and Information Technology Gokul Banskota, a cabinet meeting held earlier this week also decided to forward the report to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) for implementation.
The report submitted by the Pandey-led committee has suggested that the government recognize the Chand-led group as a political entity even though it has been involved in some extremist activities. It suggested that dialogue was the only way to resolve the problem politically.
“The Biblab group, which is involved in semi-underground activities, has been owning up to incidents of general shutdown, strikes and vandalism. Security agencies have concluded that the group was behind the bomb blasts that occurred during the three tiers of elections. But since the group has also advanced a political agenda and the background of the individual leading it is also political, it is appropriate to hold negotiations with the group,” the report has stated .
The Chand group was operating in semi-underground fashion until the government decided to ban all its activities on March 12 following the involvement of the group in a series of bomb blasts and an extortion drive in the capital city and beyond. All its leaders and cadres have gone underground since then. Police have rounded up over 600 of its leaders and cadres from across the country, leaving its organizational structure almost defunct.
Political Dialogue Committee coordinator Pandey said they have asked the government to recognize the Chand-led group as a political entity and find a solution politically. “The group led by Netra Bikram Chand is a political group. The report states that the solution should also be found at a political level,” he said.
Pandey said although the group is political in nature it has been involved in some extremist activities as well. “It is a political party. Its activities are extremist and radical in nature. We have mentioned in the report that negotiations are the only political solution,” he said, while expressing hope that implementation of the report could pave the way for reaching out to it.