Patna, Sep 15 (IANS) A Bihar court Thursday issued arrest warrant against 11 Nepali Maoist leaders including a former minister, at least six sitting MPs and other senior leaders, a court official said.
The Patna Civil Court has issued arrest warrant against 11 Nepali Maoist leaders while hearing a case related to the non-bailable warrants pending against them.
'The court issued arrest warrant against them for their failure to appear before the court in the case,' government lawyer Mithilesh Kumar told IANS here.
A controversy rose in Nepal following reports that the Patna High Court had sentenced the 11 Nepali Maoists to prison terms in absentia and fined them between Rs.375,000 and Rs.700,000.
Early this week, Maoist member Tara Gharti Magar raised the issue in parliament and demanded an explanation from Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, who is also the deputy chief of the former rebels. Bhattarai had also met the Indian envoy and demanded that the verdict be annulled.
However, police and court officials here termed the reports as 'false', saying the high court has neither heard their cases nor sentenced them as yet.
'Their case has not reached the Patna High Court ever and it is with the additional district and session judge of Patna civil court,' a court official said.
According to police officials here, on May 2, 2004, a special team led by then Patna senior Superintendent of Police N.H. Khan, had arrested 11 Maoists leaders, including two party politburo members, from five hotels in Patna for their alleged involvement in anti-India activities.
Soon after, a case was lodged with Gandhi Maidan police station and they were sent to judicial custody in Beur jail in Patna and later Buxar jail.
The Patna High Court granted them bail on June 16, 2006 and the 11 were released on June 22, 2006.
Later Patna police filed the charge-sheet in the court concerned. The chief judicial magistrate had referred the matter to the additional district court for framing the charges.