DPM Nidhi agrees to 'Madhesi martyrs' list of 68

Published On: August 15, 2016 06:06 AM NPT By: Sangeet Sangroula  | @SangeetJourno

-Govt to bear costs of medical treatment for 650 injured
-The agreement to be presented for approval in next cabinet meet
-Indian national also in new list

KATHMANDU, Aug 15: Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi and leaders from the agitating Madhes-based political parties on Sunday agreed to propose 68 individuals who were killed during last year's Madhes protests as martyrs.

The government record so far showed that altogether 42 individuals were killed during last year's protests in the Tarai.

A meeting between the home minister and Madhesi leaders on Sunday agreed to include 26 more individuals in the list and declare them as martyrs of Madhesh movement. An Indian national who was shot dead during the protest in Birgunj is also in the new list of martyrs.

The proposed names however need to be endorsed by a cabinet meeting.

“Deputy Prime Minister Nidhiji has promised to present the name list at the next cabinet meeting for approval,” Nepal Sadbhavana Party Chairman Anil Jha told Republica. “This decision has been taken as per the agreement reached at the political level with regard to addressing Madhes issues.”

He said that they haven't included only the Madhesi protestors who lost their lives during the Madhes movement. “But we have included the policemen and those who were killed in protests staged also in hill districts.”

Keshav Jha of Rastriya Madhesh Samajbadi Party, who was present at the meeting, informed that the two sides have decided that the government shall make arrangements for livelihood for 48 individuals who lost their limbs or other body parts during the protests.

Likewise, the government has agreed to bear medical expenses of 650 individuals who were injured during the protests.

“We have still not paid the bills at various hospitals including Bir Hospital in Kathmandu and several other hospitals in Birgunj and other Tarai districts where injured protestors had received medical treatments,” said Anil Jha.

During the talks, DPM Nidhi headed the government team while chiefs and other senior leaders of Madhesi parties including Mahantha Thakur, Rajendra Mahato, Raj Kishore Yadav, Lalbabu Raut represented the Madhes parties.

Home Secretary Narayan Gopal Malego said that the agreement was made as per the mandate given by the previous cabinet meeting. “This decision taken today will be subjected to further verification at the home ministry and will be presented at the next cabinet meeting for approval,” said Malego.

The previous cabinet meeting had also asked the home ministry to reach an understanding with Madhesi parties on the number of those killed in Madhes protests and come up with a list of those who are facing court cases for their involvement in Madhes protest.

The two sides have also discussed recommending names for withdrawal of court cases.

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