Nepal | March 30, 2020

Congress obstructs Parliament for second day over Banke incident

Jagdishor Panday

Kathmandu, September 16

After the government agreed to file a first information report against the culprits of Banke incident, the main opposition Nepali Congress was in no mood to obstruct the proceedings of the House of Representatives today.

Nepali Congress lawmakers obstruct the proceedings of the House of Representatives in New Baneshwor, Kathmandu, on Monday, September 16, 2019. Photo: Screenshot of Parliament live video/Youtube

However, the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) lawmaker Nanda Lal Rokaya played a catalytic role in infuriating NC lawmakers in the House, compelling them to obstruct House proceedings for the second day.

Rokaya’s statement came immediately after NC Whip Puspa Bhusal’s address in the House regarding the Banke incident. Bhusal said the government should investigate the incident and bring to book the culprits.

Bhusal said that many NC cadres and leaders, including the party’s Banke District President Kiran Koirala, had sustained injuries when the ruling NCP cadres barged into a hall in Khajura Rural Municipality on September 12 and started attacking everyone indiscriminately.

NCP lawmaker Rokaya refuted Bhusal’s allegations and said that no NCP leader or cadres were involved in the attack. Rokaya even went to the extent of accusing NC lawmakers of telling lies in the House. Rokaya also said that no case should be filed against Suman Malla, ward chair of Khajura Rural Municipality-1, who is accused of instructing party cadres to spoil the NC’s programme.

Hearing this, NC lawmakers stood up from their seats and asked Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara to allocate time to reply to Rokaya’s statement, but Mahara didn’t do so, which led to obstruction of House proceeding for the second day too.

Obstructing the House proceeding, NC lawmakers shouted slogans like ‘parliamentary neutrality should be maintained in  the House’, ‘state horror should be stopped’, and ‘culprits should be  punished’. After NC’s obstruction, Speaker Mahara postponed the meeting for Wednesday.

Yesterday, NC had obstructed proceedings of both the houses — HoR and NA — demanding that police be told to accept the FIR against those who assaulted its members in Banke.  The party had yesterday said it would obstruct proceedings of both the houses unless its demands were fulfilled.

Yesterday, Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa had told the HoR and the National Assembly that so  far police had rounded up six people, including Nirmal Khatri, Roshan  Singh Thakur and Lok Bahadur Shahi for their alleged involvement in the  incident.

Thapa had also assured that the government had taken the incident seriously.

A version of this article appears in print on September 17, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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