Darchula incident: Investigation committee yet to submit report

File: Ministry of Home Affairs

Kathmandu, August 16

The Ministry of Home Affairs said a team sent to Darchula of Sudurpaschim to look into a case of one man’s disappearance into the Mahakali river is yet to come up with a report of what happened that day.

The committee had left Kathmandu for Darchula on August 2 to investigate an incident where Jaya Singh Dhami (33), a resident of Byas-2 in the district, disappeared after an Indian officer allegedly snapped a tuin, a makeshift cable contraption installed across the river to cross it, while Dhami was on it.

The committee was formed by Home Minister Bal Krishna Khand under the leadership of Janardan Gautam and had given them 10 days to come up with a report.

The team consists of Darchula’s Assistant Chief District Officer Jyotsana Bhatta Joshi, DSP Purushottam Kandel, National Investigation Department Director Hutaraj Thapa and Armed Police Force SSP Suresh Kumar Shrestha.

But, the team that reached Darchula had asked for a seven-day extension to submit its report. That extension ends on Tuesday. “We are trying to locate Jaya Singh Dhami and that is why it’s taking some time,” says Gautam. “This is a delicate issue and we can’t come to a conclusion hastily.”

Gautam further said that the team is still in Darchula trying to figure out exactly what happened. He said they needed time as they had to write a detailed explanation about what had happened. “If we cannot submit it on Tuesday, we will ask for another extension.”

Meanwhile, a member of the committee covertly said that the delay is taking place because of the alleged involvement of an Indian Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) officer. The member said that during their investigation, they learnt that the tuin did not snap but was released deliberately. But details of the incident is still confusing the committee to reach any conclusion.

A high ranking official at the Home Ministry said that there have been others incidents of the SSB removing tuins from areas and added that this incident was tragic because there was a person on the tuin when it was removed.

However, eyewitnesses say that the SSB officer(s) had released the tuin despite knowing someone was about to cross the river.

“I asked them not to cut the tuin because there was someone on it. But they did not listen,” the eyewitness told Onlinekhabar via telephone.

There has also been news about the Indian side not assisting in the investigation. People who gave statements against the SSB are being threatened, say locals.

Nepal wanted to use drone to look for Dhami, but the Indians didn’t give Nepal their permission to do so.

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