Kathmandu, September 28
Lawmakers of various political parties engaged in heated exchange on the government’s homework to withdrawing lawsuits related to various Madhes movements, particularly the incident in Tikapur of Kailali, at today’s meeting of the State Affairs Committee.
CPN UML lawmakers said the government cannot withdraw lawsuits of criminals, who killed a two-year old child and unarmed police personnel during the Tikapur incident last year.
Yagya Raj Sunuwar of CPN-UML alleged that the government was trying to let criminals of the Tikapur incident go scot-free. “Preparations are ahead for letting those who killed a two-year child and unarmed police personnel go scot-free. What kind of state are we expecting from this?” he said.
Rameshwor Phuyal of CPN-UML said the government was trying to release criminals on the basis of political clout. He blamed the government of trying to take decisions to prolong its stay in power.
Ram Janam Chaudhari of Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic, however, objected tothe UML lawmakers’ opinion and said the local bodies’ election could not be held until the lawsuits filed against protesters were withdrawn.
“Houses of the Tharu community were burnt during the incident. No words are being heard about taking action against the guilty. However, attempts are being made to portray the Tharu community as criminals. What does CPN-UML want?” he asked.
Lalbabu Raut of Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal questioned, “What about Jhapa movement and the decade-long Maoist movement that killed thousands of people? Were not UML leader KP Oli and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal leaders of those movements?” He said attempts were being made to criminalise the Madhes movement.
Nepali Congress lawmakers, including Amaresh Kumar Singh and Ram Krishna Yadav supported the opinions of Madhes-based parties saying that political solution should be sought for incidents related to Madhes movement. The UML’s path will take the country towards an accident, they said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bimalendra Nidhi, who was summoned to the meeting, said the government was careful about not letting criminals get off scot-free while withdrawing cases related to the Madhes movement.
He said that the government had brought the proposal of demarcating local bodies by making the areas (Ilakas) the major basis. “The government adopted this as a middle path to find consensus,” he said.
The government clearly understands the reality that local bodies’ elections could not be held without political consensus. “So, the government has moved ahead with its homework to amend the constitution on the basis of consensus,” Nidhi said.
A version of this article appears in print on September 29, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.