Parliamentary special panel formed to investigate into Rukum incident

Rukum incident

KATHMANDU, June 5: The parliament has formed a parliamentary special committee to investigate into the 23 May Soti incident that took place in Rukum (West).

Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota, during a meeting of the House of Representative (HoR)  today, informed the parliament about the formation of the parliamentary body.

“The members in the committee will be selected after the consultation with political parties representing in the HoR,” he added.

The committee has been formed in accordance with the Rule 177 of the House of Representatives Regulations-2075 BS.

The main opposition party Nepali Congress had been demanding the constitution of an all-party parliamentary investigation committee to ensure an impartial investigation in regard to the incident.

In today’s session, NC whip Pushpa Bhusal had insisted on constituting the parliamentary committee, expressing her doubts over the effective investigation on behalf of the government. She accused that opinions came on behalf of the government in regard to the incident are intended to influence the investigation and make it weaker. ”The Rukum (West) incident is not just an act of crime, it is a severe crime against humanity.”

Six people — Nawaraj BK, Tikaram Sunar, Ganesh Budha, Lokendra Sunar, Sanju BK and Govinda Shaha — were killed when they, along with 12 other friends, who had reached Soti village at Chaurjahari municipality in Western Rukum to take Nawaraj’s 17-year-old girlfriend belonging to a so-called “dominant” caste group as bride on 23 May, were attacked and chased away into Bheri river by the neighbors of Nawaraj’s girlfriend.

The bodies of Nawaraj and Tikaram were found in the riverbank next morning. Ganesh and Lokendra and Sanju were also found dead lying in the river bank on May 25. The body of Govinda was retrieved ten days after the incident.

The incident has shaken the nation as people have taken to streets despite nationwide lockdown demanding against the culprits.

The United Nations has expressed “shock” over the “Dalit Killings” and condemned several other incidents of caste-based discrimination and violence that have taken place in Nepal during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier, the government had formed a five-member probe committee, who has already begun investigation into the incident.