Former minister says government already distributed relief amount to families who lost their members during the Madhes protests
KATHMANDU, Aug 6: The government has decided to provide Rs 1 million each to family members of the individuals killed during the Madhes movement last year upon the recommendation of the agitating parties.
A cabinet meeting held at Singha Durbar on Friday decided to direct the Ministry of Home Affairs to provide the compensation amount within a week.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara said that the agitating Madhes-based political parties will cooperate with the district authorities in identifying the individuals killed during the protests and provide compensation to their families within a week.
Likewise, the cabinet has also asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to submit details of expenses incurred during treatment of injured which will be reimbursed to the political parties. But for that, the ministry first needs to collect details of estimated expenses of treatment of those who sustained injuries during the protests and also need to make it clear as to which political party made the arrangement for treatment.
The home ministry has also been asked to pay hospitals within a week if injured protestors received treatment there. Such payment should be based on hospital bills.
The cabinet also instructed the home ministry to compile details of those who were sued on charges of vandalism or any other charges during the protests and forward the details to the cabinet within a week.
CPN-UML leader Agni Kharel, who was the minister for law and justice in the previous government, however described the new government's decision impractical.
“We had already distributed such relief money to the families who lost their members during the Madhesh protests. So, the move is just an eyewash to appease the Madhesi people and to garner their support,” Kharel told Republica.
Also, in the case of injured protestors, the money for medication should be given directly to the injured ones and not to any political party, according to Kharel.
“We had asked the Madhesi leaders to furnish the bills but they insisted that the money should be provided to their parties. They didn't even provide the details but said that their political organizations had spent for the treatment of protestors,” Kharel added. “We had allocated Rs 3.2 million for the injured. Of that, around Rs 1.2 million is yet to be released due to similar complications.”
He said that the new government's decision seemed to be taken to fill the pockets of the Madhesi parties, in order to take them into confidence.
According to data provided by the home ministry, the previous government had released Rs 42.5 million to 44 family members of those killed during the Madhes protests.