PM at ground zero 33 days after havocIn his first visit since the violent incident in Tikapur that killed eight security personnel and a toddler, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Saturday arrived in Tikapur to assess the situation on the ground
In his first visit since the violent incident in Tikapur that killed eight security personnel and a toddler, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Saturday arrived in Tikapur to assess the situation on the ground. Koirala and his Cabinet have roundly been criticised for not making efforts to reach out to
communities affected by protests and violence.
Arriving 33 days after the Tikapur incident, Koirala made an effort to reach out to people affected by violent protests. Accompanied by Forest Minister Mahesh Acharya, who has been a key government interlocutor during formal and informal negotiations with disgruntled parties and groups, Koirala met security officers, representatives of political parties and locals at the meeting hall of the Community Library and took stock of the situation on ground. Still reeling under the effect of communal tension, there was little presence of Tharus except for those affiliated with the ruling parties.
During his interaction with party representatives and locals, the PM spoke of pain and suffering of the people. Noting that communal tensions disrupted social harmony, he stressed the need to create an environment for reconciliation.
“The decision has already been taken to provide compensation to the victims killed in the Tikapur incident,” said Koirala, adding that the government would now take action against the guilty. He also spoke of reports of police high-handedness in dealing with villagers and urged security forces to refrain from causing more difficulties. “They should not cause any hardships to any communities,” Koirala said.
Defending the new constitution, he described it as a document of political compromise that ensures the right of Dalits, Janajatis, Muslims and minority groups. He sought to assure his audience in Kailali that the government was committed to amending the constitution in order to address the grievances.
Koirala said initiatives had been taken to address the demands of the Tharus and Madhesis. “The government is effortful to solve the problems created by the blockade and prolonged protests in the Tarai,” he said.
In Bhairahawa, Prime Minister Koirala called on all political forces to move forward together for the national independence and prosperity. He said that the government has taken diplomatic initiation regarding the disruption of goods carriers in Indian territory.
Koirala arrived in Bhairahawa with Forest Minister Mahesh Acharya, chiefs of Nepal Army and Nepal Police, among other high level government officials.
Meanwhile, the family of the 18-month-old boy killed in Tikapur demanded that the toddler be declared a “child martyr”. “They murdered my child after signing an agreement of not launching violent protests the previous day. They are the murderers,” said victim’s grandfather Junga Bahadur Saud.