Government forms team to investigate the death of three youths in Rukum WestLawmakers have demanded a parliamentary probe committee to study discriminations against Dalits throughout the country.
The government has formed a five-member probe team to investigate the incident of Chaurjahari of Rukum West in which three youths were killed while three more are missing.
“We have formed a five-member probe team to investigate into the Rukum West-Jajarkot incident,” Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa told the members at the meeting of the National Assembly on Tuesday.
According to Thapa, the probe team led by a joint secretary of the Home Ministry includes a senior superintendent of police, officers of the National Investigation Department and the Office of the Attorney General besides an under-secretary of the Home Ministry.
On Saturday, locals from Chaurjahari Municipality in Rukum-West chased away a group of 19 people including Navaraj BK of Jajarkot, who was to tie the knot with a girl from the Soti village, after they found out that the boy was from the Dalit community.
A day later, BK and his friend Tikaram Sunar, both of them Dalits, were found dead on the banks of the Bheri river. Body of Ganesh Budha was recovered on Monday while Lokendra Sunar, 18, Govinda Shahi, 17, and Sanju BK, 17, are still missing in the Bheri river.
During the meeting, Home Minister Thapa briefed the lawmakers on the incident and told them that 12 people from the girl's side including a 17-year-old girl, her parents and ward chairperson Dambar Bahadur Malla have been rounded up for investigation.
However, some members of the Upper House including Bimala Rai Poudel urged the government to consider socio-psychological counselling and protection for the girl.
Members of the Upper House also questioned the home minister about the incidents of caste based discriminations and untouchability in different parts of the country during the crisis.
Upper House members including Chakra Prasad Snehi demanded the formation of a parliamentary committee to probe into all such incidents of rights violations and discrimination against members of the Dalit community.
Responding to the questions of Upper House members, Home Minister Thapa expressed the government's commitment to punish the guilty as per the existing law of the land.
On Monday, following the reporting of a spate of cases related to caste-based discrimination, Parliament’s Law, Justice and Human Rights Committee directed the Ministry of Home Affairs to intvestigate all the incidents of discriminations, rape and murder during the lockdown.
“Serious attention of the committee has been drawn to incidents of caste-based discrimination, untouchability, rape and murder during the lockdown,” said the committee.
Pointing out specific incidents, including the gang rapes of Dalit girls in Dhankuta and Morang, caste-based discrimination in Kapilvastu and Kaski, murder and enforced disappearance in Rukum West, and forced abortion in Panchthar, the parliamentary committee has told the government to take necessary action against culprits immediately.