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Rastriya Janata Party asks government to make report on Tarai protest public

- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu

May 20, 2019-

 

With no signs of the government making public the report prepared by the Girish Chandra Lal-led High-Level Probe Commission despite rulings from the Speaker, the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal has started House obstruction again to put pressure on the government.

The panel led by the former judge at the Supreme Court had prepared the report after investigating the cases of violence that took place during the months-long protest in the Tarai in 2015 in the run-up to the constitution promulgation.

Lawmakers from the party stood from their seats on Monday, signalling obstruction of Parliament, during a meeting of the House of Representatives, demanding that the government adhere to the rulings made by the Speaker.

Following an obstruction, Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara had directed the government on March 13 to make public the report immediately.

The Madhes-based party, which has long been demanding that the report be made public, started exerting pressure on the government recently after Resham Chaudhary, an elected member of parliament, was convicted of masterminding the Tikapur violence which took the life of 11 people, including a toddler, in 2015.

The party claims that the incident should be treated politically.

Taking time from the Speaker, Chanda Chaudhary, a lawmaker from the party, said the government must explain why it was hiding the probe report.

“It also must inform the House what is barring it from making the report public despite your [Speaker’s] ruling,” she said.

Chaudhary said her party will continue to obstruct parliamentary proceedings until the report is made public.

She said it was unfortunate that the government had turned a deaf ear to Parliament’s directives. In response, Speaker Mahara said he believed the government’s attention was drawn to the issue and that it would work to that effect.

“I believe the government will make public the report with reasons [for the delay],” he said.

The Lal-led commission had submitted the report to then-prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba in December 2017.

The commission was formed in February 2016 to look into the atrocities committed during the Madhes and Tharuhat protests in 2015.

Protests had erupted in the run-up to the constitution promulgation, as regional parties opposed the plans of four major forces to push the statute through the Constituent Assembly. The commission investigated a total of 3,264 complaints registered with it.

According to the report, 66 people--including 10 police personnel, an 18-month-old child, four-year old Samman Patel, and 15-year-old Nitu Yadav--were killed during the movement.

Of them, 62, including police officials, were declared martyrs, while four had not been conferred the status. The commission visited 18 districts for the probe.

In Tikapur of Kailali, 10 policemen and an 18-month-old child were brutally killed by agitators in August 2015. The report has recommended that the government strengthen the mechanism to control riots and agitations.

The seven-member commission was mandated to probe the incidents that took place during the Madhes movement, to find facts about the incidents, to recommend compensation for the victims, and to take action against those held responsible for the killings.

 

Published: 21-05-2019 06:30

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