Kathmandu, July 29
Lawmakers representing the Nepali Congress and the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal stalled proceedings in the House of Representatives today once again over non-formation of a parliamentary committee to probe two alleged cases of extra-judicial execution in Sarlahi district.
Sarlahi district in-charge of the Netra Bikram Chand led-group Kumar Paudel was killed in an alleged encounter with police on June 20 and Saroj Narayan Singh of Ishwarpur Municipality was killed during police firing in a protest on the East-West Highway on June 30.
As soon as House proceedings began today, opposition lawmakers rose from their chairs to stall House proceedings, but Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara ignored their protest and continued House proceedings, following which NC and RJP-N lawmakers swarmed the HoR well.
The protesting lawmakers’ chanted slogans in the House for almost 45 minutes demanding formation of a parliamentary probe committee. They also demanded that the Girish Chandra Lal Commission report on killings during the Madhes movement of 2015-16 be made public.
The opposition lawmakers shouted slogans such as ‘Stop violation of human rights,’ and ‘Maintain supremacy of the Parliament.’
Speaker Mahara repeatedly told opposition lawmakers that only discussion in the House on issues concerning the public could help maintain parliamentary supremacy and if lawmakers were really concerned about supremacy of the Parliament, then they should end their obstruction and allow debate in the House. But the NC and RJP-N lawmakers continued sloganeering in the House ignoring the speaker’s call to end the House obstruction.
Speaker Mahara even told opposition lawmakers that they were violating other lawmakers’ rights by obstructing House proceedings. “Many other lawmakers who want to raise various issues concerning the public have not been able to do so because of your protests. Are you not violating their rights?” Speaker Mahara asked.
RJP-N lawmaker Laxman Lal Karna told THT that the government was not willing to hold dialogue with opposition parties to end House obstruction. This showed the government was not acting in a responsible manner in the House, he added.
“There is strong evidence to prove that the two killings in Sarlahi district were cases of extra-judicial killing. That’s why the government does not want to form the Parliamentary Probe Committee,” he said. Karna also said the government had pledged to publish the Lal Commission’s report, but it had not done so yet.
He said Speaker Mahara was not playing any role to end the House obstruction. “Mahara only supports the government,” he added.
The NC and RJP-N, which have been obstructing House proceedings since July 9, had ended their obstruction to discuss their motion of urgent public importance regarding floods and landslides.
The speaker’s Press Advisor Dilli Malla said Speaker Mahara had been talking to leaders of the ruling and opposition parties for the last two days and he would continue to do so tomorrow to encourage both sides to find a negotiated settlement to the ongoing House impasse.
Malla also said the speaker held informal meeting with the chief whips of the ruling and opposition parties today, but both sides stuck to their guns.
A version of this article appears in print on July 30, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.