Govt forms panel to look into burial place for Christians

Kathmandu: Nepal government has formed a committee to look into the demand for a designated burial ground near the Pashupati temple area by the Christian community.

Christians complain that they don't have sufficient designated place where they can bury their dead bodies. In Nepal, where 80 per cent people are Hindus, most people cremate their dead bodiesd.

The Ministry for Tourism, Culture and Parliamentary Affairs have formed a committee led by Rishikesh Niraula to investigate into the matter.

The committee will "study in detail" the demands put forth by the Christian community and submit its recommendations within one and a half month, said Niraula. The committee includes officials from the home, land reform and parliamentary affairs ministries and cultural experts, he added.

Christians have been protesting since a ban was imposed earlier this year on a traditional burial area next to Kathmandu's revered Hindu shrine Pashupati.

The committee has also asked the Christian activists to halt their relay hunger strike, which they have been continuing for more than two weeks.

On Monday, the Supreme Court is set to conduct hearing in two separate writs filed by the Christians as well as a Hindu activist regarding the matter.

In his petition Hindu activist Bharat Jungam has demanded that the Christians should not be allowed to bury their dead in the small forest near the Pashupati temple area.