Govt could probe Gaur massacre: Pokharel

Published On: October 26, 2019 06:22 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Oct 26: Deputy Prime Minister Ishwar Pokharel on Friday said that the government could investigate the 2007 Gaur carnage and other political violence overlooked by the past governments.   

The Gaur massacre, which is considered to be one of the deadliest political violence to have taken place post Maoist insurgency, saw the killing of some 27 individuals in March, 2007.
“Every incident related to murder and violence that happened in the past would be investigated,”

Pokharel told reporters at Biratnagar airport on Friday.  A day earlier, on Thursday, government spokesperson Gokul Prasad Baskota had also announced to start investigation against all those facing charges for heinous crimes.  

If the government really started an investigation, it would almost certainly land several leaders of the ruling Samajwadi Party, an ally in the Oli government, behind bars. One of the alleged masterminds of the Gaur massacre, Samajwadi Party Nepal (SPN) Chairman Upendra Yadav, is deputy prime minister and health minister in the current government.

The massacre, in fact, had brought Yadav and his party, the erstwhile Madhesi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF), to the political mainstream.

The cycle of violence had sparked with the arrest of a group of Madhesi protestors, including the chairman of the MPRF, in Kathmandu in connection with the burning parts of the Interim Constitution.

In response to the arrests, the MPRF announced a general strike across the tarai, but tensions flared when a CPN (Maoist) cadre killed an MPRF supporter who was enforcing the shutdown in Lahan. The incident triggered widespread demonstrations that engulfed the entire tarai and came to be known as the first Madhes movement.

When asked if the government would also investigate atrocities committed during the Maoist insurgency, Pokharel suggested that it would be inappropriate to compare the “people’s war” with other political violence including the Gaur massacre.

Pokharel also defended the government’s decision to arrest Mohammed Aftab Alam. He said that the security agencies were just executing an order of the Supreme Court by starting investigation against Nepali Congress leader Alam who is accused of ordering the killing of 22 people, most of them his own cadres, on the eve of 2008 Constituent Assembly elections.

Since the arrests of Alam and former speker Krishna Bahadur Mahara, many are calling the government to open investigation into various high profile crimes including the royal massacre and suspected assassination of the late communist leader Madan Bhandari.

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