Friday, June 8, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Panel gets sweeping powers
Curfew lifted in Kathmandu

Kathmandu, June 7
The high-level committee set up by King Gyanendra to probe Friday night’s palace massacre has been given sweeping powers to get information from the royal family members, inspect the site of killings and examine weapons and bullets used.

The committee, headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Keshav Prasad Upadhyaya, which held preliminary sittings today, would formally start functioning from tomorrow and submit its report to the King within three days, official news agency RSS said.

Meanwhile, the resignation of Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Madhav Kumar Nepal from the committee has been accepted by the King. The committee will now have two members, the other being Speaker of the House of Representatives Taranath Ranabhat.

The panel could inspect weapons and bullets fired during the shooting. “The term of office, of the committee will be three days from the date of taking up its charge,” RSS said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister G. P. Koirala held a meeting of senior ruling Nepali Congress Party leaders at his residence today to take stock of the political situation in the Himalayan kingdom.

The CPN (UML) politburo also met and discussed issues, including the government’s reluctance to reconstitute the probe panel as demanded by it.

Meanwhile, curfew imposed in the Kathmandu valley last night as a precautionary measure was lifted today.

A large number of people thronged the streets since early morning and vendors reported brisk business.

Police sources said no incident of violence has been reported since yesterday in the town which witnessed violent protests following last week’s palace killings. PTI


Editor questioned

Kathmandu, June 7
The Editor of Nepal’s leading daily Kantipur Yubaraj Ghimire, arrested yesterday on charges of sedition, was questioned by sleuths of the Crime Investigation Department today and would be produced before a court on Monday.

Along with Ghimire, Kailash Sirohiya and Binod Raj Gyawali, Managing Director and Director, respectively, of the Kantipur publications, were also arrested following the printing of an article in the newspaper’s opinion page written by underground Maoist supremo Baburam Bhattarai, alleging a conspiracy behind the palace killings on Friday night.

The arrests have been widely condemned.

Meanwhile, journalists in New Delhi staged a demonstration in front of the Royal Nepal Embassy here, strongly protesting the arrest of Ghimire and two others in Kathmandu.

Members from the Editors Guild of India and the Delhi Union of Journalists raised slogans, demanding that Ghimire, who had also worked in India with some leading media organisations, and others be released immediately. PTI

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