Home Ministry writes to Foreign Ministry to take diplomatic initiatives with India regarding Darchula incidentEven more than a month after Jaya Singh Dhami fell into Mahakali, Kathmandu has not communicated to Delhi on the matter.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has written to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, requesting diplomatic initiatives with India to investigate the disappearance of a Darchula youth in the Mahakali river.
The request comes two days after a government probe team submitted its report to Home Minister Bal Krishna Khand.
“The Home Ministry wrote to the Foreign Ministry today to take diplomatic initiatives to find out the truth behind the Darchula incident,” Phainndra Mani Pokharel, spokesperson for the Home Ministry, told the Post.
The Foreign Ministry will translate the summary report, will write to the Indian side after taking consent from Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba who is also the Foreign Minister, a source told the Post.
The Sher Bahadur Deuba government has met with criticism for failing to make a position clear before India on the disappearance of the 33-year-old youth from Darchula.
On July 30, Jaya Singh Dhami from Khangdang Mal of Byans Rural Municipality-2 in Darchula fell into Mahakali while crossing the river using an improvised cable crossing locally known as tuin. The Gautam led probe panel and Media reports based on eyewitness accounts have suggested that a Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel had untangled the cable just when Dhami was about to reach the Indian side, across the river.
After falling into the river, Dhami was swept away and his whereabouts remain unknown.
The government had formed a team a day after the incident on August 1 to investigate how the youth fell into the river. But the probe report was delayed due to a number of factors, including bureaucratic inertia and the government’s reluctance to take the issue up with India.
The details of the probe report have not been made public yet. The Ministry of Home Affairs, however, on Tuesday said in a statement that as per the probe report “it appears the incident took place in the presence of India’s Sashastra Seema Bal personnel”.
“The report has recommended that the government take diplomatic initiatives with India to bring the culprit(s) to book,” the statement read.
Just as pressure was building on the Sher Bahadur Deuba government to make a firm stand on the incident, a Cabinet meeting on August 26 decided to provide Rs1 million to Jaya Singh’s family, stoking concerns if attempts were being made to quell the calls for making the report public.
Some say the Deuba government has been hesitant to make public the report as the Indian side has been implicated. For Deuba, the Darchula incident has emerged as his first diplomatic test case since he returned to power more than a month and a half ago.
Experts on foreign affairs and former diplomats told the Post on Wednesday that the government failed to show urgency to investigate the matter and take it up with India.