House committee instructs Home Ministry to probe into killing of CPN leader Poudel

KATHMANDU, June 24: Parliamentary State Affairs Committee (SAC) has instructed the Ministry of Home Affairs to launch probe into the killing of Kumar Poudel, the Sarlahi district in-charge of the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal (CPN).

The SAC summoned Minister for Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa and directed him to submit a probe report into Poudel’s killing within a week, on Monday morning.

During a meeting of the SAC held at Singha Durbar, the lawmakers sought details into the killing of Poudel.

On the occasion, Home Minister Thapa vowed to submit report to the committee based on field report.

Police on Thursday said that Poudel, 47, was shot dead at around 2 pm near the Lakhandehi River at Lalbandi municipality in Sarlahi district.

The police said that they were forced to fire shots at the cadres of the Chand-led outfit in retaliation. Acting on a tip-off, the police had pursued the group of CPN cadres including Poudel.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Pratit Singh Rathor, the spokesperson for the District Police Office (DPO), Sarlahi, claimed that Chand-led cadres who were riding motorcycles first opened fire at the police team and Paudel was killed in retaliation.

It has been learnt that four of Chand’s cadres were fleeing from the police on two motorcycles. Police claim that one more cadre sustained injuries in his feet but managed to escape with two others. Police claimed that they confiscated a three-feet cord, a five-feet-long fuse wire, a revolver and 4 bullets from the incident site and also found a pistol and two bullets from the bag Poudel was carrying.

Rathaur claimed Poudel was involved in various incidents of arson and bomb blasts in the district. Poudel’s body has been brought to the Malangawa-based district hospital for an autopsy.

Poudel, a local resident of Dharahara, Bagmati Municipality-2, had initially joined politics as the district chief of the Chure Bhawar Ekata Party after the party was established to counter the Madhesi parties. Later, he joined the Maoist party and was lately working as the district in-charge of the outlawed CPN.

The CPN has termed the killing as a case of extrajudicial murder. The party has demanded a fair probe into the case and justice to Poudel.

Poudel is the second leader of the Chand-led party killed in police action in recent months. Earlier in May, Tirtharaj Ghimire of Bhojpur had died while receiving treatment at a hospital after he was injured in police firing.

After Ghimire’s killing, the outlawed group imposed a national strike. Four cadres of the Chand-led party were killed in Kathmandu last month when the bombs they were planning to detonate exploded prematurely.

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