Kathmandu, 10 July : Opposition parties, including the main opposition Nepali Congress and Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal obstructed proceedings in the House of Representatives demanding formation of a parliamentary committee to investigate the loss of two lives in police firing in separate incidents in Sarlahi in June.
Opposition lawmakers demanded that HoR Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara form the parliamentary investigation committee, stating that the answer furnished by the Minister of Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa on the incidents were not convincing enough.
Speaking in the HoR meeting earlier in the day, Thapa had furnished details of the incidents — police encounter of district in-charge Kumar Paudel of the Netra Bikram Chand led-Communist Party of Nepal on June 20; and death of Saroj Narayan Singh of Ishworpur Municipality during police firing on a protest on the East-West Highway on June 30. The protest was triggered by the drowning of 11-year-old Amit Ray in a water-filled pit dug by illegally-run sand and pebble industries on June 29.
Thapa also said the Parliament could form an investigation committee to probe the incidents. “The Parliament has the authority to form the probe committee. The government is accountable to the House,” he said.
However, Thapa’s answers were far from convincing for opposition lawmakers as they termed Thapa’s clarification a ‘sham’.
Unconvinced, NC and RJP-N lawmakers picketed the Parliament’s well to obstruct proceedings. Although Mahara requested lawmakers to take their seats, they chanted slogans demanding that Mahara announce formation of the probe committee.
After a five-minute obstruction, Mahara postponed House proceedings for 15 minutes. The proceedings were eventually halted for the day after lawmakers representing Nepal Communist party (NCP) did not agree to formation of the probe committee in a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee led by Mahara.
Emerging from the HoR meeting, NC Whip Pushpa Bhusal and RJP-N lawmaker Raj Kishore Yadav told mediapersons that they would continue to obstruct the House until Mahara formed the parliamentary investigation committee.