Darchula incident: Probe panel confirms SSB personnel’s presence yet fails to hold them responsible

Home Minister Joint-Secretary Janardan Gautam submits a report of the disappearance of Jaya Singh Dhami in Darchula, in Kathmandu, on Tuesday, August 31, 2021.

Kathmandu, September 1

An investigation team formed by the Ministry of Home Affairs to look into the disappearance of one Jaya Singh Dhami into the Mahakali river in the Darchuala district of far-western Nepal submitted its report to Home Minister Bal Krishna Khand on Tuesday.

The incident that took place on July 30 has received widespread attention as Dhami had reportedly fallen off a tuin, a makeshift cable contraption installed across the river to cross it, as soon as an Indian border security staffer allegedly snapped it.

The investigation committee consisting of bureaucrats and police officials also confirmed the presence of Indian Sashastra Seema Bal personnel’s presence in the incident site. However, it has failed to categorically hold them responsible for the incident.

Instead, the team led by the ministry’s joint-secretary Janardan Gautam suggested a further investigation with the involvement of the SSB officials also and diplomatic talks with India, according to a statement issued by the ministry’s spokesperson Phanindra Mani Pokharel.

While the government was already under fire for its failure to raise the issue with India, the report’s hesitation to categorically mention the SSB personnel as responsible actors is likely to intensify the public wrath.