LOKENDRA DHWAJ KHAND – Student Union President at Nepal Law Campus Unit
NIRMALA BHANDARI – Student
UJJWAL SUKLA – Lawyer
Lokendra Dhawaj Khand was arrested on August 27, 2003 at the Nepal Law Campus Unit in Kathmandu. Reportedly, he was arrested by plain clothes members of the Royal Nepalese Army. His whereabouts and the reason for his arrest are unknown. Attempts by his family to locate him through contacting the Ministry of Defence and the Headquarters of the Royal Nepalese Army have failed thus far.
At approximately 10:30 p.m. on September 15, 2003 Nirmala Bhandari was arrested at her home in Balaju, Kathmandu by five plain clothed members of the Nepalese security forces, all of whom were wearing masks. Bhandari had been previously arrested and held for a month during the State of Emergency called between November 2001 and August 2002. Her whereabouts and the reason for her arrest are unknown at this time.
On September 23, 2003 at approximately 9:00 p.m. Ujjwal Sukla, a lawyer and member of Amnesty International, was arrested at his home in Ganabahal, Lalitpur by nine security force members, two of whom wore masks, and one of whom identified himself as C. Chandra Bahadur Rai. Neither the reason for his arrest, nor the location of where he was being held was known.
LRWC is increasingly alarmed by a growing number of arrests and “disappearances” in Nepal since the end of the cease-fire between the Nepalese government and the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) on August 27, 2003. LRWC has written several Nepalese officials asking that immediate action be taken to make the whereabouts of these individuals public, and allow them access to legal counsel, medical services and their families.
Letter written September 30 2003 by C. A. Morris, BA, LLB, LLM Member, LRWC
Ujjwal Sukla was released from captivity on September 28, 2003 at 9:30 p.m. He has reported that he was kept blindfolded during most of his detention and interrogated regarding alleged connections with the CPN. Sukla repeatedly denied any connection to the CPN. Sukla was unable to identify the location where he was detained. [ASA 31/038/2003].
On January 15, 2004 at approximately 12:00 noon Gopi Bahandari, Nirmala Bhandari’s older brother, was arrested at his button factory in Nayabazar, Kathmandu by five armed security forces personnel who took him away in an unmarked green van. The location where he is being held and the reason for his arrest remain unknown. Nirmala Bhandari also continues to be held in an undisclosed location. [ASA 31/010/2004].