Monday, August 9, 2010

Nepal parliament to look into Indian Embassy 'threat'

Nepal's Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Relations and Human Rights will look into the complaint by a Maoist MP that he was threatened by the Indian ambassador to Nepal and a senior consular official Tuesday when it has summoned Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala to discuss the issue.

The move came after Maoist lawmaker Ram Kumar Sharma lodged an official complaint at the parliament secretariat, urging the government to provide him with security. In his complaint, Shah has also urged action against a senior official of the Indian Embassy, Subrata Das, saying Das threatened him, which was tantamount to an attack on Nepal's sovereignty.

Sharma says he was pressured by the official as well as the Indian ambassador, Rakesh Sood, for supporting Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda during the prime ministerial elections. In 2008, Sharma had won the election from the Terai Madhes Loktantrik party, and claimed to have had good relations with the embassy. However, he told TNN the ties soured after he joined the Maoists about 13 months ago.

"Das warned me my daughter would be made to leave Kendriya Vidyalaya and that I would be abducted," Sharma told TNN.

"He also abused me after accusing me of helping the Maoists buy MPs during last Friday's election. When the ambassador called me, I had the feeling that he knew about the threats made about expelling my daughter."

While the Indian ambassador is currently in Myanmar, the embassy has declined to comment on Sharma's accusations, calling them "baseless".

"The response smacks of arrogance," Sharma said. "If the embassy had said it regretted the furore and would investigate the allegations and take action accordingly, it would have been more diplomatic and acceptable. Things like this are bound to affect Nepal-India relations."

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