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Nepal: King responsible for pro-democracy crackdown

By Shirish B Pradhan in Kathmandu
November 20, 2006 15:21 IST
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A high-level commission probing the excesses committed on activists during the April pro-democracy movement in Nepal has held King Gyanendra and 201 others responsible for the bloody crackdown and recommended action against them.

The commission, headed by former Supreme Court Judge Krishna Jung Raymajhi, which submitted its report to Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala on Monday recommended action against all the members of the then royal government including the King, who chaired the then council of ministers, Harihar Birahi, one of the members of the commission, told PTI.

Since all 202 people, including the King, played roles in suppressing the movement that killed 25 people and injured over 5,000 others, the commission has recommended action against them, he said.

The commission took six months to prepare the 1,200-page report in three volumes, which has details of the atrocities committed during the agitation. Two among the five-member committee had expressed their dissatisfaction over the report through the media.

However, all five members of the commission were present at the time of submitting the report to Koirala, Birahi said.

Birahi said the prime minister has assured them that they would implement the report soon. "It is up to the government to decide what type of action should be taken," he said.

The government will submit the report to the Parliament for endorsement before implementing it.

The commission had sent a set of questionnaire in October to the King seeking answers regarding his possible role in suppressing the movement. But the King ignored the two-week deadline and did not respond.

The commission has interrogated altogether 296 people including former ministers, King's advisors, security chiefs and other officials for misusing government funds and suppressing the peaceful movement that restored democracy.

King Gyanendra, who took executive powers by dismissing the multi-party government on February 1 bowing down to the People's Movement in April 2006, handed over power to the people, reinstated the dissolved House of Representatives and appointed Girija Prasad Koirala Prime Minister at the recommendation of the agitating Seven Party Alliance.

Nepal has currently no laws to punish crimes committed by a King and the landmark case marked the first time a monarch faced investigation in a country where Kings have been traditionally revered.

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Shirish B Pradhan in Kathmandu
Source: PTI© Copyright 2023 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.