A noted woman leader of Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Ram Kumari Jhankri has been arrested from her residence in federal capital Kathmandu today (February 11).

According to the police source, a team of police from Metropolitan Crime Division reached Jhankri’s residence along with an arrest warrant, mentioning Section 58 of Criminal Code. The police source added that leader Jhankri was held in allegation of ‘crime against state.’

Leader Jhankri who belongs to the dissenting faction of ruling NCP has been speaking vocally against dissolution of the House of Representative since December 20. The influential youth leader had delivered a speech mentioning President Bidya Devi Bhandari at an event in Gorkha district a week back, to which, the government is said to have become irate.

Section 58 of Criminal Code has the provision that the President and parliament can not be threatened, and barred from works.

The arrest has come as a series of this government’s crackdown on freedom of expression in Nepal. It has suppressed citizen’s right to free speech.

To this, Executive Chief at FF, Taranath Dahal, commented, “Government has been increasingly being intolerant crushing citizen’s right to speak, and make criticism on government activities and public persons. The arrest has not only panicked citizens but also alarmed society over deteriorating freedoms in Nepal. The arrest of leader Jhankri based on unrelated legal provision clearly depicts that government wants to silence dissenting voice. Her speech neither threatens the President nor parliament. It has further signaled more horrible days denting democratic system in Nepal.”

If there was any disrespect on Head of the State in Jhankri’s speech, the government could invoke separate law instead of arresting youth leader mentioning Section 58 of the Criminal Code.

FF vehemently condemns the arrest and urges the security to release leader Jhankri unconditionally and respect citizen’s right to free speech.

For more information,
Freedom Forum
Thapathali, Kathmandu
01-4102030/ 4102022