Govt decides to form panel to look into Saptari incident

KATHMANDU: The government has decided to form a commission, with three members on board it, to look into the Saptari incident, in which four protesters were killed in police firing on Monday, according to Industry Minister Nabindra Raj Joshi.

The members of the probe commission, however, are yet to be finalised. The commission will be given 15 days to prepare and submit its report to the government.

Law Minister Ajaya Shankar Naik said that a sitting or retired Justice of the Supreme Court will head the commission.

A statement issued by the Prime Minister's Secretariat said that the commission will be formed under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

A meeting of the Cabinet held at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers in Singhadarbar decided to provide Rs 1 million each to the bereaved families, and bear all expenses for the injured's treatment.

The Cabinet has decided to urge all political parties to carry out their political activities maintaining restraint and not obstruct others from entertaining their constitutional right to do so, according to the statement, which referred to Minister Hitraj Pandey.

Earlier yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs had summoned the chief of police forces to inquire about the fatal firing in Saptari.

Nidhi wrote on Twitter last night that he asked [the chiefs of Nepal Police and Armed Police Force] why the protesters were hit on head and abdomen only and not below the knee even if the situation had gone out of control.

Rs 10 mln each to local level

The Cabinet decided to provide Rs 10 million each to 744 local bodies -- including municipalities and village councils -- for the time being.

The government on March 5 had decided to add 25 local levels, including 21 in Province No. 2, to the number recommended by Local Bodies Restructuring Commission, making the total number of local bodies 722.

There are 277 local levels (more than 37 per cent) in 20 districts of Madhes.

Later, the local levels will get budget from the state based on their population.