Freedom Forum welcomes the much-awaited arrest of an absconding Maoist party leader, Balkrishna Dhungel, a murder convict, from the capital city, Kathmandu, on October 31, 2017. Dhungel, despite being convicted by the Supreme Court for the murder of Ujjan Kumar Shrestha of Okhaldhunga district in 1998, was escaping arrests for time and again with the political protection.
The Supreme Court had delivered the verdict that Dhungel, the Maoist party leader, be sent to prison throughout the life.
Finally, the recent arrest came in response to the contempt of court writ filed at Supreme Court against Inspector General of Police for ignoring the court order to arrest murder convict Dhungel in April 2017.
Though late, the arrest of longtime scot-free murder convict is a laudable step for addressing the prolonged state of impunity in Nepal.
"As the conflict victims (period of Maoist conflict from 1996 to 2006) are desperately waiting for justice, the arrest of Maoist leader Dhungel carries significance that has created hope among other conflict victims for justice. It is indeed a step that State took to address impunity, an issue pending for long to get addressed in Nepal," observed Freedom Forum's Executive Chief Mr Taranath Dahal, adding that it helps boost rule of law in the country.
Noteworthy here - in Nepal, which witnessed a decade long insurgency, is yet to ensure transitional justice owing to political protection of the perpetrators as to Dhungel and sheer ignorance and noncooperation by the political parties on the activities of the transitional mechanisms- Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Commission on Investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons.
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