All major Nepali and English newspapers published from Kathmandu on Tuesday have given attention to the arrest of medical education reform campaigner Dr Govinda KC on a contempt of court charge. Other political issues including the government’s preparations to fix provincial capitals and appoint province chiefs, and CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre’s preparations to unify the parties have also received significant attention. News stories about impacts of cold wave in Terai districts have also been published in the front pages today.
Dr Govinda KC arrested
After the Supreme Court ordered police to produce Tribhuvan University Institute of Medicine’s professor and senior orthopaedic surgeon Dr Govince KC before the court for a hearing on a contempt of court case filed against him, security personnel arrested him from the TU Teaching Hospital, where he had launched a fast-unto-death putting forth various demands including the resignation of Chief Justice Gopal Parajuli.
Kantipur says he has been taken to the Metropolitan Police Circle in Singhadarbar on a police van. After the arrest, the fasting doctor has told the newspaper that he would continue his indefinite hunger strike even at police custody.
When police arrived at the hospital to arrest him, he told the law enforcers that he would go with them as he would respect the authority, but he would not abide by the order issued by the Chief Justice, who according to him ‘raped justice’, Rajdhani reports.
Meanwhile, Naya Patrika and Republica have published a timeline showing quick development of events before his arrest. They inform that the court heard a contempt writ filed by its own staff after 5 pm and issued the arrest order at around 6 pm. Dr KC was arrested at around 8 pm.
Left alliance to form task forces for unification today
The Himalayan Times says the CPN-UML and the CPN-Maoist Centre are likely to hold a joint meeting of its top leaders today in order to form multiple task forces to facilitate their proposed unification. The panels will resolve issues related to leadership roles, responsibilities and ideological common ground for the unified party.
The task forces will have to complete their tasks before formation of a new government, the report quotes Maoist leader Shakti Bahadur Basnet, who met his party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal to discuss the unification process.
Meanwhile, Rajdhani also reports that the parties have begun internal discussions on the new party’s leadership model and ideology. On the other hand, the UML has directed its leaders and cadres not to express any comment that would keep the unification process in jeopardy, according to Gorkhapatra. A meeting of the party’s Standing Committee held in Chairman KP Sharma Oli’s residence in Balkot of Bhaktapur yesterday issued the directive.
A report in Naya Patrika adds that the CPN-Maoist Centre has also expedited preparatory discussion for the unification.
Govt withdraws from its plan to skip fixing provincial capitals
Few days ago, it was reported that the government was preparing to skip its task of naming provincial capitals so as to avoid likely protests to be launched by locals in various districts. However, it has withdrawn the plan following criticisms from opposition parties as well as the suggestion of President Bidya Devi Bhandari, according to reports published in Republica and The Himalayan Times.
The reports inform that the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers issued a statement yesterday to clarify that it was going to fix temporary capitals and permanent capitals will be named by respective provincial assemblies.
Election Commission begins National Assembly poll preparations
After the government announced the date for National Assembly elections, the Election Commission has begun preparations for the polls, reports Nepal Samacharpatra in its lead story for the day.
The Commission is currently preparing a calendar for the polls and it will be issued on Tuesday, the report quotes Commission spokesperson Nawaraj Dhakal as saying. It has been learned that the Commission will open election offices in all provinces and chief judges of high courts of concerned provinces will lead the offices.
The elections will be held on February 7.
Govt to provide aid to cold wave-hit Terai population
Gorkhapatra lead story for the day informs that the Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to provide relief packages to people affected by recent cold wave in various Terai districts. The Ministry made the decision owing to a directive from Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who is also taking the charge of Home Ministry currently.
Home Secretary Mohan Krishna Sapkota informs the paper that the government will distribute various materials including blankets and firewood worth Rs 22.2 million to people of 22 affected districts immediately. Likewise, the government will also distribute warm clothes from the stock of Armed Police Force.
Will Nepal re-launch Janakpur-Jayanagar railway within one year?
Rajdhani anchor story for the day says the Nepal government can resume the operation of Janakpur-Jayanagar cross-border railway within next one year if it purchases rail engines within next one year, according to Rajdhani anchor story.
The report informs that the Department of Railways says operating the railway in Nepal is possible. However, the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport is yet to begin discussion about the issue.
The 34-km railway has been shut down for last four years. Now, its maintenance is going on and it will be over by October this year, according to the Department.
Published on January 9th, Tuesday, 2018 10:00 AM