Nepal | July 08, 2020

Report on Maleth killings yet to be submitted

Ram Kumar Kamat
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Kathmandu, January 13

A three-member team formed under Province 2 Minister of Interior and Law Gyanendra Yadav to investigate the Maleth incident, has not submitted its report to the provincial government even after six months.

Five protesters were killed in March 2017 after police allegedly used excessive force.

Human rights lawyer Mohan Kumar Karna said Province 2 government had taken the right step in deciding to form its own team to probe the Maleth incident as the National Human Rights Commission’s report had failed to do justice to the victims’ families, but the provincial government’s failure to make the report public even after six months raises the question of credibility.

The three-member team formed on July 21,  last year was supposed to submit its report within a month.

Karna said if the province government takes a long time to make the report public, it will give people a reason to believe that the provincial government is no different from the federal government. The latter had formed multiple commissions in the past, but none of them made their reports public.

“Impunity can end only when reports of various commissions formed in the past are made public. We have seen that the federal government has not made such reports public in the past and if the government in Province 2 also acts like the federal government inn this matter, then that government too will be blamed for encouraging impunity,” Karna added.

He said Province 2 government had made the right move in forming a probe team after rights activists opposed the National Human Rights Commission’s probe into the Maleth incident.

“The NHRC report was flawed because the facts gathered in the report indicated that security forces used excessive force, but the concluion of the report indicated that security forces did not use excessive force,” Karna added.

Province 2 Minister of Interior and Law Gyanendra Yadav told THT over phone from Janakpur that the team would submit its report to the provincial government within 15 days.

He said his team took a little longer to submit the report due to some technical reasons. “We could not contact the Chief District Officer and police officers of Saptari in time. Our technical staff also got transferred,” Yadav said and added that the report was almost ready and it could be submitted to the government within 15 days. “We will strongly recommend action against those responsible for rights violations in Maleth,” he said.

Social Development Minister Nawal Kishor Sah and Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperative Minister Shailendra Sah are also members of the panel formed by the Province 2 government to probe the Maleth incident.

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A version of this article appears in print on January 14, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


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