As talks begin, govt tells police not to arrest Biplav leaders, cadres

File: Top leaders of the Netra Bikram Chand ‘Biplav’-led Maoist party

Kathmandu, March 4

The government has directed the Nepal Police to stop arresting leaders and cadres of the Netra Bikram Chand ‘Biplav’-led Maoist party as talks have begun in a bid to bring the outfit to mainstream politics.

Home Secretary Maheshwar Neupane has already directed Nepal Police Chief Shailesh Thapa Chhetri to stop nabbing them haphazardly even before the first meeting between the two sides took place on Wednesday.

Citing its activities such as explosions, murder, and extortion amount to terrorism, the government had banned the outfit in 2019. Since then, it has been arresting leaders and cadres whenever they were found. It has forced the party leaders to stay underground.

The group had demanded that the ban be lifted and leaders and cadres arrested on various charges be released before the talks. In response, Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, who also leads the government’s talks team, had assured that no one would be arrested after the beginning of the talks and other demands would be met gradually during the dialogue.

Talks underway Thursday also

Meanwhile, the government and the party teams have continued their conversation on Thursday also.

They had held two rounds of meetings on Wednesday.

Sources say the talks today have focused on political issues as the government has already expressed its readiness to lift the ban and release the arrested leaders and cadres through a cabinet decision.

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