UNCP (Maoist) was demanding withdrawal of murder charges against 13 of its cadres

The United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) on Wednesday obstructed the functioning of Parliament, demanding the withdrawal of murder charges filed against 13 of its cadres in a 2004 case.

Following the obstruction around noon, Speaker Subas Nembang, who had earlier adjourned the House for an hour, adjourned it until 3 p.m. on Thursday.

The obstruction prevented Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Narahari Acharya from tabling draft bills on transitional justice mechanisms — the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), and the Commission on Enforced Disappearances. The drafts emphasise on melmilap (reconciliation), a key Maoist contention.

The party had on Monday boycotted a three-party meeting at the Prime Minister’s official residence, protesting the filing of cases against 13 of its cadres for the murder of Krishna Prasad Adhikari (then 18) of Phujel in 2004. Two of the accused are in custody and the rest have been named as absconding. The Maoist party said it would not participate in any meeting with the government and would continue to obstruct House proceedings until its demands were met.

Speaking in Parliament, former Prime Minister and UCPN (Maoist) vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai accused the government of hatching a conspiracy against the party. He claimed that the three parties — the Nepali Congress, the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) and the UCPN (Maoist) — had agreed on Sunday not to raise conflict-era cases until a TRC was formed. The Chitwan district attorney’s office filed a case on the same day.

Mr. Adhikari’s old parents are on an indefinite hunger strike, demanding justice. Their fast — the third over the issue — began on October 7 last year.