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SC serves show-cause notice to government on Dhungel amnesty bid

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KATHMANDU — The Supreme Court has served a show-cause notice to the government against the latter’s plan to offer amnesty to murder convict Balkrishna Dhungel.

A single bench of Justice Dipkumar Karki on Friday issued the order to the government demanding a written explanation within 15 days on why Dhungel should be pardoned.

The Supreme Court has also summoned several government authorities to attend the apex court on Sunday to participate in a hearing on whether or not to issue stay order against the government’s preparations to pardon jailed murder convict Dhungel.

The government authorities summoned by the court to explain why Dhungel should be pardoned include the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the Office of President, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Department of Prison Management.

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Dhungel, a former lawmaker of the erstwhile CPN (Maoist Centre), is serving life sentence at Dillibazaar jail for murdering Ujjan Kumar Shrestha of Okhaldhunga on June 24, 1998. He was arrested from Lalitpur in October 2017.

The prison administration has recommended the government to waive his remaining jail term on the grounds of good conduct and his previous prison stints in the same case.

Claiming that the government was planning to free Dhungel by invoking Presidential Pardon on the Republic Day,senior advocate Dinesh Tripathi had filed a writ petition on Thursday against the government’s move.

Tripathi has named the President’s Office, Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet of Ministers, Home Ministry, Prison Management Department, District Administration Office, Kathmandu, and Balkrishna Dhungel as defendants in the petition.

This is not the first time the government has tried to release Dhungel from prison through Presidential Pardon. In November 2011, the government led by Baburam Bhattarai had also recommended Dhungel’s name for clemency.

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176 trafficked Nepalis rescued from Indo-Myanmar border

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KATHMANDU — At least 176 Nepali men and women, who were being trafficked into Myanmar, have been rescued by Manipur police and activists from different parts of Manipur, a northeastern state of India, in the last two days.

On their second day of rescue operation, the Tengnoupal police have rescued atleast 20 Nepalis including 5 women and 15 men, from a Hotel in Moreh town,Imphal Free Press, an English-language daily published from Manipur has reported.

The Moreh police have rescued as many as 60 nationals of Nepal including 45 women and 15 men.

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Earlier, over 105 Nepali women were rescued from Moreh and Imphal, the report stated.

The police team have also arrested the main suspect in the trafficking case identified as Madan Kumar Kharel, 52, Hailing from 07 Prithvinagar, Jhapa, Nepal.

The accused is reportedly responsible for bringing 20 of the 40 Nepali girls who were rescued from Moreh on Friday.

Meanwhile, Police also rescued 51 Nepalis from Imphal including 38 women and 13 men during Saturday rescue operations.

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