Responding to some of the MPs’ concerns over the continued indefinite hunger strike by parents of a teenager allegedly murdered by Maoist cadre, Speaker Subas Nembang on Monday sought the government’s official stance on the matter.

Speaker Nembang made the ruling after some members drew his attention to the worsening condition of Nand Prasad Adhikari and his wife Ganga Maya Adhikari of Gorkha district whose hunger strike (the elderly couple calls it “fast-unto-death”) entered the 131st day on Monday. The couple have been put on intravenous drug since October 24 last year at Bir Hospital in Kathmandu where they resumed their protest for justice for their son, Krishna Prasad Adhikari. Their 18-year old son was murdered in June 2004 in Chitwan district. An FIR lodged by the parents names 12 people, most of them cadre of the UCPN (Maoist) cadre.

Outside the House, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam told mediapersons that the government was investigating the case.

Speaking earlier in the Parliament, Arjun Narsingh KC of the Nepali Congress criticised the government’s “silence” on a serious human rights matter, and demanded that the couple’s hunger strike end immediately.

UCPN (Maoist)’s Janardan Sharma said the government should take the initiative to save the lives of the couple. However, he warned that the party would not accept any move that went against the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2007. Mr. Sharma also demanded formation of a truth of and reconciliation commission (TRC) to look into conflict-era cases.

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and several human rights organisations have repeatedly appealed to successive governments to arrest those involved and save the life of the old couple.

Last year, the couple had launched a similar indefinite hunger strike – their second – and ended it on the 47th day on September 7 after the government promised action against the perpetrators. One of the accused, Januka Poudel, was a personal assistant to former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai’s wife, Hisial Yami. Poudel denies her involvement, saying she was on post-natal leave at the time of the crime.