Reminiscing Last Week: Lalita Niwas verdict to Prachanda’s call for Maoist unity


February 19, 2024


Reminiscing Last Week: Lalita Niwas verdict to Prachanda’s call for Maoist unity

KATHMANDU:  Khabarhub provides an in-depth weekly recap of significant events every Monday morning.

Last week, the Special Court convicted 12 individuals, including Shobhakanta Dhakal, Min Bahadur Gurung in the Lalita Niwas land misappropriation case.

However, three former ministers, including former Deputy Prime Minister Bijay Kumar Gachchadhar, were acquitted in the case related to government land at Lalita residence in Baluwatar.

The decision was made after continuous hearings spanning from January 16 to February 13 with 175 defendants, including prominent figures Gachchadhar, Bhatbhateni Supermarket owner Gurung, and former ministers Chandra Dev Joshi and Dambar Shrestha.

The case originated from a filing by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) on February 5, 2020.

The CIAA alleged corruption involving the misappropriation of over 136 ropani of government land at Lalita Niwas in Baluwatar.

Former Prime Ministers Madhav Kumar Nepal and Dr. Baburam Bhattarai provided statements in the case, but the CIAA declined to prosecute, citing a lack of jurisdiction.

Bhatbhateni owner Gurung got a 2-year prison sentence in the case.

Maoist Center approves new Statute

Last week, the Maoist Center concluded its first Statute Convention, culminating in the approval of the party’s statute.

Prime Minister and Party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” steered the statute convention to fruition, incorporating valuable insights gleaned from discussions within diverse groups during the presentation of the draft statute that started on February 13 at Nepal Academy, Kamaladi in Kathmandu.

Statute Convention of Maoist Center at Nepal Academy, Kamaladi in Kathmandu.

The Maoist Center also announced its decision to maintain its existing name and election symbol.

Party Chairman Prachanda affirmed that the party would not undergo any alterations in its name or election symbol, which features a hammer and sickle enclosed within a circle.

EC asks parties to inform it of any changes to their name, statute

The Election Commission (EC), last week, directed the political parties to inform it if they have made any changes and amendments to their names, statutes, rules, stamps, flags, and symbols, as well as changes in their office-bearers within 30 days.

The EC, in accordance with Section 51 of the Political Parties related Act, 2073, asked the political parties to submit the details in the stipulated format.

Prachanda calls for unity among all Maoist forces

In yet another political development last week, Chairman of Maoist Center Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” emphasized the need for unity among all Maoist forces, urging them to come together for a common cause.

His message was directed at those who have distanced themselves from the Maoist Center party.

“Let’s engage in a comprehensive review, encourage self-criticism, and stand united against the reactionaries. Regardless of your current position, I supported you in the past; now, support me in establishing unity,” he added.

Balkumari incident probe committee submits report

The committee formed by the government to probe the Balkumari incident submitted its report to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Narayan Kaji Shrestha on Friday, last week.

Receiving the report, DPM Shrestha pledged to implement the findings that the committee drew after hard work.

Two youths, Birendra Shah of Chaurpati, Achham, and Sujan Rawat of Mahabu, Dailekh, were killed in a protest at Balkumari, Lalitpur on December 29, 2023.

The protest had erupted between foreign job aspirants and security persons in the course of filling forms at the EPS Korea Branch Office, Balkumari.

The Council of Ministers then formed a three-member investigation panel coordinated by former Justice of High Court Shekhar Prasad Poudel on January 1 this year.

Durga Prasai’s mass assembly

Medical entrepreneur and campaigner Durga Prasai held a mass assembly at Bhrikutimandap in Kathmandu last week.

The campaign, enjoying the ‘moral support’ of both royalists and Hindus, garnered endorsement from groups such as Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) and RPP-Nepal, who have expressed their solidarity with the cause.

World Social Forum 2024 kicks off today

Last week, the World Social Forum 2024 kicked off in Kathmandu, under the theme “Another World is Possible.”

The Forum began in 2001 as an alternative to the World Economic Forum held annually in Davos, Switzerland.

It was first held in Porto Alegre, Brazil, with its roots emerging out of the Global South such as the 1992 Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Forum serves as a vital platform for open and horizontal exchange among civil society organizations, social movements, trade unions, and individuals opposing neoliberal globalization.