Kathmandu: At least 12 cadres from a breakaway faction of Nepal’s ruling Maoists were injured in a clash with police outside Premier Baburam Bhattarai’s residence Tuesday when they were protesting against the government’s decision to promote a Colonel accused of human rights violations. The protesters belonging to hardline leader Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist party were demonstrating against last week’s Cabinet decision to promote Colonel Raju Basnet, who is accused of involvement in conflict-era torture, to the post of Brigadier General.
Basnet was in charge of Bhairathnath Battalion of Nepal Army, which was allegedly responsible for disappearance and torture of 49 Maoist cadres during the conflict period. The CPN-Maoist cadres were baton charged by police when they were staging a sit-in in front of the Prime Minister’s residence in Baluwatar.
At least 12 of them were injured, local media reported. Meanwhile, the United Society of Family of Disappeared submitted a memorandum to Bhattarai against Basnet’s promotion. The government has come under attack from almost all quarters over its controversial move to promote Col Basnet. International human rights watchdogs have also voiced their concern over the government’s decision.