'No problem to form parliamentary committee to investigate Sarlahi incident'

Kathmandu, July 9: Minister for Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa has said Kumar Poudel, district in-charge of Netra Bikram Chand Group in Sarlahi, was killed on June 20 in police encounter. Taking a special time in a meeting of the House of Representatives (HoR) today, the Home Minister said the encounter took place in course of maintaining peace and security as he was involved in constituting people's council, jeopardizing peace and security and anti-constitutional activities.

"The so-called Group's district in-charge opened fire at police on the very first sight and a retaliatory fire was misfired ending in his death."

Similarly, Saroj Narayan Singh of Ishwarpur municipality-13 had died in a clash with the police in course of attempts to re-operate the East-West Highway which had been closed by the locals following the death of one Anup Ray, 11, while swimming. The incident happened on June 30. Each bereaved family was given Rs 25,000 as expenses for conducting death rituals and the child's family was separately provided Rs 500 thousand. The government has constituted a committee to probe the both incidents. Further legal action will be pursued once the committee submits the report, according to him.

Main opposition Nepali Congress lawmakers and Rastriya Janata Party's lawmakers put cross-questions to the Speaker, citing that they were not convinced by the Home Minister's statements. In response, the Minister said the government had no objection to form a committee to investigate the Sarlahi incident if the House felt need of it. "The Sarlahi incident was unfortunate, the government is committed to not letting it recur in the future and the government has no policy of suppressing the people."

NC chief whip Bal Krishna Khand sought clarification how Poudel who was said to be killed in police encounter suffered a hand fracture and why the police resorted to firing in a mob gathered to demand justice to the deceased child.

Bharat Kumar Shah, Uma Regmi, Devendra Raj Kandel, Dila Sangraula, Min Bahadur BK, Gagan Kumar Thapa, Meena Pandey, Dilendra Prasad Badu and Parbati DC Chaudhary voiced for forming a parliament committee to look into the issues of deaths of Poudel and the child.

Decision after necessary consultation: Speaker

Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara said that decision regarding demand of formation of parliament committee to probe into the two deaths would be taken after necessary consultation.

He said, "Give time for necessary consultation. Right decision will be taken. We are positive for the same."

RJP and NC lawmakers chanted slogan after reaching the rostrum. Khagaraj Adhikari of the Nepal Communist Party in between the protest demanded to remove the words, saying the lawmakers of opposition parties used un-parliamentary word.

Speaker Mahara then postponed the meeting for 15 minutes. Soon after the commencement of second meeting, whip of the NC, Pushpa Bhusal, expressed concern over deteriorating condition of peace and security in the country when time has come to implement constitution.

She blamed that human rights were violated in the Sarlahi incident.

Blaming the Public Service Commission of snatching rights ensured by the constitution, Raj Kishor Yadav of RJP objected over the government's not unveiling report of Lal Commission.

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