Rajbiraj, March 23

A parliamentary team to conduct a field study on the death of five persons in police firing  arrived in Rajbiraj today.`

The seven-member team, led by Mokhtar Ahmed of the Social Justice and Human Rights Committee, met with locals, witnesses and the kin of the deceased to evaluate and understand the situation.

Five persons — Sanjan Meheta, Birendra Mahato  and Pitambar Mandal of Maleth, Ananda Sah of Prasawani and Inar Yadav  of Jamani Madhepura — lost their lives after police fired at protesters in the course of the CPN-UML’s Mechi-Mahakali campaign in Rajbiraj, Saptari,  on  March 6. Over a dozen were injured.

During the visit, a kin of the deceased accused the police of breaking into their houses and shooting their family members. The kin also complained about lack of compensation from the government. The committee coordinator pledged initiatives for compensation.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary team leader, citing the findings of the study, has reckoned the police action was unwarranted. “If the findings of the study are anything to go by, the police had used more force than necessary and fired when they could have as well not done so,” Ahmed said.

The team, which also met local civil society representatives, journalists, human rights activists, local administration and heads of security agencies to learn more about the incident, is likely to submit its report to the government by Tuesday.