In an effort to forge lasting peace in Nepal, the Girija Prasad Koirala government has initiated the process of releasing jailed Maoists after the rebels agreed to hold a dialogue with it to end the decade-old insurgency in the Himalayan kingdom.
The government has started collecting information about the jailed Maoist cadre for their release, Home Minister Krishna Sitoula told Parliament on Friday.
As per the preliminary estimates, there are about 700 Maoists behind bars. They could be released through different legal procedures on the basis of their offences, a Home Ministry official said.
Sitoula said the government was collecting information on what charges the Maoist leaders and cadre were arrested under, according to the state-run newspaper The Rising Nepal.
It is the job of the government lawyers to withdraw the charges against them, he said.
It might take some time to release the Maoists after complete information regarding their conditions of arrest is acquired, said Home Secretary Bal Krishna Prasain.
Maoist chief Prachanda on Thursday said that he was ready for the peace talks after the government declared a ceasefire and removed the terrorist tag from the rebels.
Meanwhile, Maoist central committee member Matrika Yadav has submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Koirala to immediately release the detained rebels, scrap the ordinance on the control of terrorist and disruptive activities and bring all war crimes to the book, the newspaper said.