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Watch Ajay do a balancing act

19:53 PM July 10, 2006

Kathmandu: Nepal's National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in a nine-month-long investigation has found that all the 37 people killed by the Army at Kotwada of Kalikot district in western Nepal on February 22, 2002 were innocent and unarmed labourers. ''All the 37 people were executed after they were taken under control by the security forces,'' The Kathmandu Post quoted Yagya Prasad Adhikari, Investigating Officer of the NHRC, as saying. The people were involved in the construction of the local airport, Adhikari said. Though the army had maintained that the people were killed in a cross fire between the security forces and the Maoists, the report said there was no such crossfire at the time of incident, the newspaper said. The acts of the Army in Kotwada violated the Constitution as well as other national and international humanitarians laws, the report added. Meanwhile, NHRC has recommended to the government to take stern action against security personnel involved in the extra-judicial killings, the paper said.