Asian Human Rights asks Nepal Army Chief to handover Major Niranjan Basnet to police

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New Delhi, Dec 17 (ANI): The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR), a Delhi based rights group, today urged visiting Nepal Army Chief General Chhatraman Singh Gurung to handover Major Niranjan Basnet to police in Nepal for trial before the Court.

Earlier, Major Niranjan Basnet was expelled from a UN mission for his involvement in the torture and subsequent killing of a 15 year old, Maina Sunawar, during the conflict.

He was sent home. Before Basnet arrived, on December 12, Nepal Prime Minister Madhav Kuma Nepal communicated to the Defence Minister that Basnet should face the charges made in the Court arrest warrant.

In defiance of the court, the law and the Prime Minister, the Nepal Army (NA) took Major Basnet from the airport to Army HQ.

On December 13, Nepal Police requested that Basnet be handed over. The NA has not yet handed over Basnet to the police.

"The outcome as to whether Major Basnet will be handed over to the police for trial before the Court will decide whether a civilian democratic government and the rule of law will determine Nepal's future or it will be a nation dominated by the interests of the Military - redolent of Pakistan's military," said Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.

ACHR alleged that India's decision to resume arms supply to the NA, suspended after the Royal takeover in 2005, directly undermines Nepal's peace process and further fuels the current political tension.

"The Indian unconditional support has enabled the Nepal Army to be the arbiter of the Peace Process in Nepal with virtual veto power against the integration of the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) and democratization of the NA - both central to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement," Chakma said.

"The recent events including the failure to hand over Major Basnet show that government of Nepal is incapable of acting independently from a military opposed to the peace process," Chakmaa added. (ANI)

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