Eight months on, report of KAHS clash kept secret

Published On: March 5, 2019 04:45 AM NPT By: DB Buda

JUMLA, March 4: Eight months after a violent clash at Jumla-based Karnali Academy of Health Science while forcefully airlifting medical reform activist Dr Govinda KC to Kathmandu left scores of health professionals injured, a task force formed to investigate into the incident is yet to publicize its report.

This has irked the locals who have demanded the concerned authorities to immediately publish the report and start taking action against the guilty.

Raj Bahadur Mahat, chairperson of Civil Society, Jumla, urged the task force to publicize the report and provide justice to the locals.

"We had expected the task force formed by the Karnali Province work effectively in providing justice but we are disappointed," said Mahat.

According to him, the locals have expressed their dissatisfaction toward the provincial government for forming the task force but not publicizing its report.

"We just want the locals to feel safe on the hospital premises. It does not matter who it is, the culprits must be punished," said Chairperson Mahat.

A three-member task force was formed under the leadership of Kalanidhi Paudel from the Chief Minister's Office. The task force was directed to submit a report within a week. It has been nearly eight months since the task force returned from Jumla, but still the locals have received no information regarding the incident.

"We haven't even heard of this issue being discussed in the parliamentary meeting since then," said Lokendra Bahadur Rawat, a local, adding, "This has made people feel like the province is trying to shield the culprits by hiding the report."

Not just the province but even Nepal Police and KAHS itself had formed separate teams for investigation. However, none of them have publicized the report yet.

Meanwhile, Kalanidhi Paudel, coordinator of the task force, claims that the report is ready. "We have already presented the report to the parliament but have not been able to publicize it in lack of favorable environment," said Paudel, adding, "We have mentioned everything in detail so there is no need to doubt foul play."

Dr KC was staging his 15th hunger strike in KAHS, Jumla, when security personnel barged into the hospital to airlift him against his consent. As the supporters of Dr KC tried to prevent the security forces from doing so, a clash had erupted which injured several people and damaged property worth Rs 800,000.

Reportedly, police had baton charged the health workers, students and the staffers of the hospital during the clash. Similarly, a security personal too was injured when a student retaliated during the clash. As the incident had terrorized the patients as well as the locals, it is still deep in their memory.

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