Ameet Dhakal

KATHMANDU: The High Level Probe Commission investigating state excesses during people's movement interrogated three Ministers in King Gyanendra's government on Tuesday.

The most prominent among the quizzed is Tulsi Giri, who was vice chairman of the Council of Ministers headed by the King.

After the interrogation, Dr. Giri told journalists that he did not have any role in the death of 21 pro-democracy protesters during the three-week movement that forced the King to concede power to the people. Asked whether he shoulders responsibility for atrocities committed during the movement, Dr. Giri said, "The one who is responsible for it should shoulder the blame."

He, however, said the state did not commit excesses. "The state was only trying to maintain law and order." But he said he was saddened by the deaths.

The other Ministers Badri Prasad Mandal and Nikshya Sumsher Rana too did not take took the blame. They also told the journalists after their interrogation that they personally had no role in the state's attempt to suppress the movement.

The Commission will interrogate more in the days to come.