Maoist cadre arrested for Indian trader’s murder in Nepal

June 14th, 2009 - 3:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, June 14 (IANS) A Maoist cadre has been arrested in Nepal for the abduction and murder of an Indian businessman, whose body was found in a remote forest last month.
Tek Raj Joshi, who belongs to the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) whose government collapsed in May, was arrested in Kanchanpur, a remote district in far west Nepal, Saturday for the murder of 34-year-old Vishal Jain.

Jain had come from India’s Agra city to help his relatives run a condiment factory in Mahendranagar, the main town in the district.

Four months after he had taken up residence in Nepal, Jain was returning home from the factory last month when he was abducted. His family received a call from the kidnappers, asking for a ransom of NRS 20 million for his release.

Though they settled on a lower sum of money, Jain did not return home.

Police later found his body in a forest with his hands and feet tied. He had also been gagged and blindfolded.

Joshi’s arrest could further tarnish the image of the Maoists, who have been facing growing allegations of murder, violence and extortion even after they signed a peace agreement and agreed to lay down arms.

The Maoist party said if the allegations against Joshi were proved, he would be expelled from the party.

“Such acts of violence are against the principles and directives of the party,” party spokesman and lawmaker Dinanath Sharma told IANS. “The party has no role in the murder. If Joshi is found guilty, it would be an act he committed in his individual capacity, not on the orders of the party.

“However, right now, it is a mere allegation, which has to be proved first.”

There is apprehension that the Maoist leadership is losing its grip over cadres, especially in the remote areas.

Once used to getting their way by brandishing arms, many cadres find it difficult to put their past ways behind them.

Since the Maoists ended their 10-year insurgency, there have been other murders committed by cadres, including the killing of a Nepali businessman who was beaten to death though once he had been close to the rebels.

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