Home Minister Bal Krishna Khand has informed the House of Representatives that a probe committee was formed to find out truth and fact about the incident of police firing in course of opening the obstructed postal highway in Bardiya.
Responding about the queries over the incident in today's meeting of the House of Representatives, Home Minister Khand said that a five-member committee was formed under coordination of Joint-Secretary of the Home Ministry, Hari Ghimire, to carry out investigation into the case.
Deputy General Manager of Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Bed Kumar Dhakal, Superintendent of Police at Nepal Police, Krishna Koirala, Deputy Investigation Director of National Investigation Department, Bikas Pandey, and Under-Secretary of the Home Ministry, Dhruba Khadka, are the members of the probe committee.
Expressing commitment to take action the guilty based on the report submitted by the probe committee, he clarified that it was first responsibility of the government to protect citizen's life.
The Home Minister said, "Action will be taken against the guilty once the truth and fact about the incident how the firing took place there and who gave order to open fire is received."
He further said that an all-side meeting has been taking place at the incident site and process to normalize the situation has begun. Saying the government has made arrangement for the treatment of the injured, Minister Khand mentioned that the government was serious that citizens should not be harmed by wildlife.
The Home Minister shared that order was not issued to police to open in order to bring the incident under control.
"There is no order to open fire. Chief District Officer of Bardiya is of the opinion that he did not issue order to open fire. But firing took place there. The Home Ministry formed a probe committee this morning to find out truth and fact about the incident", he added.
A leopard had attacked Surendra Tharu, 41, of Madhuban municipality-2 in Bardiya on Monday morning while he was working in farm. Tharu sustained injuries in the leopard attack, informed Home Minister Khand.
A team deployed from Kothiyaghat Police Post rescued the injured Tharu and taken to Nepalgunj for treatment, he said.
Following the wildlife attack, the Mudhuwan folks including the officials of a local community forest obstructed the Postal Highway at Orali Bazar demanding the risk prevention from wildlife, construction of security fences along the park area and their safety.
Stating that the irate mob resorted to physical attacks on the security force for latter’s attempt to remove the traffic obstructions. The security force reportedly tried to convince the mob to clear the obstruction, but in vain. In defense, the security force threw some rounds of teargas shells and fired that resulted in the death of local Nabina Tharu Chaudhary.
Meanwhile, the Home Minister assured of maximum punishment against perpetrator of sexual violence.
Terming the gang-rape on a 16-year-old girl of Raptisonari of Banke condemnable and extremely sad, the Minister said all the accused in the crime are already in police detention. As he informed the House, a police squad from the Dhanauji police beat of Khajura arrested all the seven accused in the incident.
One Hemraj Tharu of Baijanath, Banke had invited the girl for his birthday celebrations and gang-raped her with the involvement of his other six colleagues at Phulbari. Stating that the survivor was under medical care with the help of local administration, she was under the protection of a non-government organisation.
He assured of a highest degree of punishment against the perpetrators so as to what he said discourage the cases of rape and sexual assaults.
“I support the voices for revising and amending provisions in law to discourage sexual violence and to create an atmosphere for a decent livelihood of survivor of rape,” he said.
The Minister utilised the platform to say that he would take initiation for ensuring the incorporation of curriculum providing information for prevention of sexual violence and punishment for the crime in school texts.
MPs draw Home Minister's attention
Demanding time from Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota in a session of the House of Representatives prior to this, the lawmakers called attention of the home Minister over various incidents and sought answers on them.
Bimala BK said the terror of wild animals has increased in Bardiya National Park and demanded that the human and physical losses caused by the wild animals be stopped. She said that 41-year-old Surendra Tharu of Sonaya village, Madhuwan municipality-2 was attacked by a leopard when he was working in his field on Monday.
She added that the police fired at the locals including the office-bearers of the local community forest users committee who were protesting over the incident demanding checking the wild animals' attacks, constructing fence around the park and protection of human life, in course of opening the Hulaki Eoad which the locals had blocked in protest. BK denounced the incident of police firing, calling for an impartial investigation into the 'police excesses'.
Purna Kumari Subedi demanded investigation into the incident of gang rape on a 16-year-old girl in Banke on May 5 and stern action against the culprits. "How long our daughters and fellow women have to remain insecure and when will action be taken against the culprits," she demanded an answer from the government.
Lal Bahadur Thapa accused the government of exerting inappropriate pressure for influencing the local election at Budhiganga municipality in Bajura district and questioned who gave the authority to the District Security Committee to suspend the election.