Minister sacked for involve in Hindu activist murder

Kathmandu: A Maoist minister, accused of involvement in the murder of a Hindu activist, was today sacked from the Nepalese cabinet after a determined opposition demanded his resignation and stalled parliament.

Land Reforms Minister Prabhu Sah tendered his resignation this evening after Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and Maoist chairman Prachanda met to discuss the issue and decided to do away with him. Sah was accused of involvement in the murder of Hindu Yuva Sangh chairman Kashinath Tiwari in Birgunj last year, but the prosecutors this month struck down a case against him citing lack of evidence.

Allegations that the minister was not prosecuted due to political pressure flew thick and the main opposition parties — the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML — obstructed the functioning of the parliament since Thursday, demanding his removal. The party earlier in the day directed Sah to tender his resignation, said spokesman of Unified CPN-Maoist Dinanath Sharma.

In a statement, Prachanda said they decided in favour of sacking the minister "despite a legal clean chit" because the issue was unnecessarily deviating attention from the fundamental issues of the peace process and constitution drafting. Sah is not the only minister the opposition has been gunning for. They are also seeking the removal of Defence Minister Sharat Singh Bhandari of the Madhesi front over his supposedly secessionist remarks pertaining to the Terai region.