Lawmakers have condemned the disappearance of a young man from Darchula in Mahakali after the Indian Armed Border Force (ASBF) cut the rope bridge while crossing Mahakali river. In a meeting of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, the ruling and opposition lawmakers questioned India’s intentions, saying that India had repeatedly shown hegemonic behavior in the border areas. He also stressed the need for the government to hold immediate talks with India.
Speaking during the zero hour and special session of the House of Representatives, the lawmakers demanded an investigation into the incident and relief to the families of the disappeared. Jay Singh Dhami had fallen into the Mahakali River while crossing Mahakali river through Rope Bridge of Malghat in Byans Rural Municipality-2 of Darchula on Friday. According to eyewitnesses, the SSB cut the rope bridge while he was crossing the river.
Ruling Congress parliamentary party whip and MP Pushpa Bhusal stressed on the need for an impartial investigation into the Darchula incident. Dilendra Badu, a Congress MP from the district where the incident took place, said that the incident was linked to the relationship between the two countries and that the facts should be made public after proper investigation. Stating that initiatives should be taken from the diplomatic level for the investigation, he urged not to give political color to the incident.
Congress MP Gagan Kumar Thapa said that the Indian side had made public that SSB was not involved in the Darchula incident and demanded to know its authenticity. He said, “Since India is not officially involved as per India’s statement, how can India help Nepal’s investigation committee?” He said the incident was planned. Congress’s Dilla Sangraula said that the family of the missing youth should be given relief. Maoist Center MP Maheshwar Jung Gahatraj said that diplomatic and political talks should be held with India on this issue.
UML MP Ganesh Singh Thagunna, elected from Darchula, protested against the Indian trend, saying that the SSB did not comply with the locals’ plea not to cut the wire. “It’s a heinous and inhumane act,” he said. UML’s Bimala Bishwakarma said that talks should be held with India from the level of Prime Minister and Home Minister. Nepal Mazdoor Kisan Party MP Prem Suwal said in a letter sent by India to the local administration that the SSB had not cut the rope bridge but had admitted to patrolling. UML parliamentary party chief whip Bishal Bhattarai said that a parliamentary inquiry committee should be formed to end India’s hegemonic trend.
Home Minister Bal Krishna Khand said that the facts would be brought out after an impartial investigation into the incident. Responding to the queries of the lawmakers, he said that he was ready to take any step based on the report of the committee formed by the government. He said that he would find out the truth by discussing with those who swam and those who could not. He also said that the report would be prepared based on the views of local stakeholders.