Nepal lawmaker arrested for businessman’s murderJanuary 17th, 2009 - 9:28 pm ICT by IANS
Kathmandu, Jan 17 (IANS) A Nepali lawmaker, who won a seat in the constituent assembly last year despite being on the list of the country’s most wanted criminals, was arrested Saturday evening from the border town of Birgunj for the murder of a businessman, police said.Babban Singh, 40, won the April election from the violence-hit Rautahat district in the southern lowlands even though he was on the run. His father and brother had campaigned for him while he stayed out of sight.
Singh had said that police were trying to implicate him falsely and there was no charge against him.
In July, he had appeared from underground in the constituent assembly in Kathmandu to take part in the first presidential election. He voted for the candidate fielded by the Maoists, who however failed to win.
The Birgunj police said Singh was arrested after a man detained for the murder of local businessman Rajesh Kayal last year admitted during questioning that the killing had been ordered by Singh.
Kayal, a foodstuff dealer, was shot dead at his residence in Birgunj Dec 22 after a string of extortion calls.
Police also said that the arrested man, who was not named, had implicated Singh in an earlier killing of another local businessman.
Police were initially hesitant to take action against the lawmaker, the private television station Kantipur reported. However, they finally moved to arrest him after receiving orders from their higher-ups.
The arrest comes a day after a top UN official told the UN Security Council that neither Nepal’s political parties nor the state army or the Maoist army had taken any steps during the almost four years of his tenure in Nepal to end the culture of impunity and bring offenders to justice.
Ian Martin, the special representative of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, also said that the parties were instead protecting their law-breaking cadres from justice.
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