Victims of Maleth incident say they want justice

Rajbiraj, August 7

Victims of the violence in Maleth have demanded stern punishment for persons responsible for the tragedy rather than any government facility for the families.

They conveyed their concerns today while speaking to a high-level inquiry committee set up by Province 2 government to investigate the incident two years ago.

Five persons had lost their lives and over a dozen had been injured when police opened fire at a venue where CPN-UML was organising a programme as per its Mechi-Mahakali campaign in defiance of Madhes-based parties on March 6 last year.

The National Human Rights Commission investigated the incident and made public its report a few days ago. However, in the face of protest over the report, the provincial government set up a separate probe committee pledging to launch a fresh probe.

The committee is headed by provincial minister for internal affairs and law Gyanendra Yadav and includes Minister for Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives Shailendra Prasad Sah and Social Development Minister Nawal Kishor Sah as members.

The team today visited the families of the deceased, the injured and the locals to learn about the incident.

Shantidevi, the mother of Sanjan Mehata, who died in the incident, called for stern punishment against persons responsible for her son’s murder.

Responding to the mother’s demand, the committee coordinator urged her to rest assured of justice.

The committee yesterday had met chiefs of security bodies, intelligentsia, rights activists and journalists. Today, it met the deceased’s family and the injured, besides inspecting the incident site and meeting political representatives.

“There was need for a separate investigation as the NHRC-led probe had hidden and distorted the truth and tried to mislead us,” said committee coordinator Yadav.

Sanjan Mehata, Pitambar Mandal and Birendra Mahato of Maleth, Anand Sah of Prasawani and Inar Yadav of Jamuni Madhepura had lost their lives in the tragic incident.