From the Kathmandu Press: Thursday, March 14, 2019

Key leaders within the ruling Nepal Communist Party disagreeing with one another over the decision to brand the Netra Bikram Chand ‘Biplav’-led Nepal Communist Party a criminal group and ban its activities has received considerable attention in all major newspapers along with news of Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana telling judges nearing retirement to stop taking cases.

Meanwhile, after a quite long time, the news stories about Nirmala Pant rape and murder case have been featured on broadsheet covers today.

Here is a summary of important, ignored and interesting stories from the front pages of national broadsheets:


The announcement ceremony of Nepal Communist Party

Misunderstanding in the ruling party over the decision to ban Chand’s outfit

Nagarik, Kantipur and The Kathmandu Post report that key leaders within the ruling Nepal Communist Party are at loggerheads, with many expressing reservations over the decision to brand the Netra Bikram Chand-led Nepal Communist Party a criminal group and ban its activities.

A gathering of senior ruling party leaders at the residence of Pushpa Kamal Dahal, a co-chair of the party, on Wednesday morning, criticised the government’s decision. A group of senior leaders are scheduled to meet Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Thursday to put pressure on him to take the party into confidence before making any important and big decisions. Senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, speaking to the reporters in Parliament on Wednesday, said that the party may not own up to the decision taken by the government.

Similarly, Republica reports that experts have expressed that the government’s decision to ban the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) will further corner the splinter Maoist rebels and might eventually push the country toward another round of conflict. The main opposition Nepali Congress and other parties have also criticised the ban, saying it would only escalate tensions.

Naya Shakti Party chief Baburam Bhattarai also expressed concern over the ban and called on the government to give the former rebels one last chance for reform.

Warrants issued to arrest sacked SP, suspended DSP within 21 days

File: SP Dilli Raj Bista

Naya Patrika and The Himalayan Times report that Kanchanpur District Court has issued warrants against sacked superintendent of police Dilli Raj Bista and suspended Deputy Superintendent of Police Angur GC to arrest them within 21 days and present them before the court. Both have refused to record their statements regarding Nirmala Pant rape and murder case.

On March 7, the Office of District Attorney had moved the court against eight police officials, charging them with tampering with evidence, illegal detention and torture while investigating the rape and murder of 13-year-old Nirmala Pant, who was killed on July 26 last year.

The charge sheet is based on two FIRs. The first one was lodged by Nirmala’s mother Durga Devi and the second FIR was filed on January 14 by Khadga Singh Bista.

The court, after recording statements of the six accused, issued a notice against Bista and GC to be present in the court. The six cops are in police custody at the District Police Office in Kanchanpur since March 7. District Attorney of Kanchanpur Mohan Prasad Joshi said the court was likely to decide the fate of the six accused police personnel soon. It will decide whether to release them on bail or general date or send them to judicial custody till the announcement of final verdict.


Govt sends police adjustment bill to parliament

Republica reports that the government has proposed allowing the provinces to fill vacancies among provincial police only after the adjustment of Nepal Police to the provinces under the adjustment bill.

Following the parliamentary endorsement of the police adjustment bill, the government will form a six-member committee under the Home Secretary to recommend the organisational structure and positions for police at the centre and the provinces. The committee will include an AIG of Nepal Police and joint secretaries from the Prime Minister’s Office and the Finance, Law and Home ministries.

Nepal Police, APF to nab CPN cadres

File image: Maoist leader Netra Bikram Chand ‘Biplav’

Republica and The Himalayan Times report that Nepal Police and Armed Police Force have issued high-security alerts across the country, following the government’s decision to ban Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party Nepal and its activities. Both security agencies say that since the Chand-led group had been outlawed, they had issued directives to all their units to arrest cadres of the Chand-led group if they tried to assemble, organise programmes or participate in peaceful rallies. Until now, Nepal Police had been taking action against only those cadres of the group who were involved in criminal activities.

Trump administration puts an end of TPS on hold for Hondurans and Nepalis

File: Donald Trump

Republica and The Kathmandu Post report that thousands of Temporary Protected Status holders from Nepal and Honduras got a reprieve on Tuesday after the Trump administration agreed to temporarily halt the termination of their protected status.

The news comes a month after a class action lawsuit was filed at the Northern District in California against the government for its decision to end the humanitarian programme for the two countries. Nepal was set to lose its protected status—first granted in 2015 following the devastating earthquake that ravaged mainly the country’s hill districts—in June. Nearly 15,000 Nepalis have benefitted from the designation, which allows immigrants to live and work in the United States regardless of prior status.

On Tuesday, US federal judge Edward Chen accepted and signed the agreement made between the two parties.


File: Chief Justice nominee Cholendra Shamsher Rana at a meeting of the Parliamentary Hearing Special Committee, on January 1, 2019.

CJ tells retiring justices not to take cases

Gorkhapatra, Naya Patrika and Nagarik report that Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana has directed Supreme Court justices to not take cases if they are retiring. He has asked them to take a one month leave before they retire and offer advice on the case. This will be applicable to judges in the high and district courts as well. CJ Rana has also asked SC officials to bar middlemen from entering the SC premises. He has also ordered chief judges at the high and district courts to monitor other judges and keep them under watch.

213 wildfires in a single day

Rajdhani reports that 213 wildfires were recorded on Wednesday. Nepal Forest Fire Management Chapter has informed that this was the most recorded in a single day this year. The data was provided by a NASA satellite. Fires were recorded in the eastern districts of Chure, Terai and middle hilly regions. Even though there have been initiatives to stop the wildfires, no step has been taken yet.

Nepal, Qatar prepare for labour agreement

Karobar reports that Nepal’s Technical Team which has been holding talks with Qatari counterparts in Qatar have successfully held first phase talks. Talks regarding minimum wage, wage increment, zero cost and workers social security have been discussed in the first phase.

Published on March 14th, Thursday, 2019 9:50 AM

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