Thursday, July 27, 2006

Rayamajhi commission summons army chief, two others

The high-level judicial probe commission summoned chief of the Nepali Army, General Pyar Jung Thapa, his deputy, Lt General Rukmangad Katuwal, and a former Major General in connection with their alleged role in suppressing the people’s movement-II on Thursday.

The commission asked CoAS Thapa and Lt General Katuwal to appear before the commission on July 30 and July 31 respectively to record their statement regarding the use of excessive force against the pro-democracy agitators by the security agencies under the command of the Nepali Army, commission officials said.

Likewise, the commission summoned retired Major General and then head of the Valley Pritana (division), Deepak Bikram Rana, for interrogation on July 31.

This is for the first time the probe commission has summoned the top-ranking army officials for interrogation. The commission headed by former Supreme Court Justice has already interrogated former and incumbent chiefs of the Armed Police Force and the Nepal Police and over four dozen others regarding the atrocities committed during the movement in April this year.

The Nepali Army led the Unified Command, which was dissolved by the government recently, during the people’s movement. There were reports that then Home Minister Kamal Thapa used to give directions to security officials from the army headquarters to suppress the movement.

At least 21 people lost their lives and over 4,000 others were injured during the 19-day long movement that brought down King Gyanendra’s direct rule

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