At least 10 Dalits were murdered in the name of caste since the government enforced lockdown to contain spread of coronavirus Nepal in March, states Rastriya Dalit Network (RDN Nepal), a Dalit-organization working to end caste-cased discrimination.
Issuing a press statement on its 10th anniversary Ganesh BK, president of the RDN, said apart from four Dalit youths were killed in Rukum (West) in a row over inter-caste marriage other Dalits like Angira Pasi and Shambhu Dangal among others were killed during the lockdown. Further, out of total 70 cases of caste-based discrimination four Dalit women and children were raped and 23 people faced racial discrimination.
The organization said Dalits were thrashed in the name of caste, deprived of foods and faced racial slurs among others. “Since the cases of caste-based discrimination are spiking in recent days it’s essential to initiate decisive fight in favor of human rights and social justice at a time when country is fighting against Covid-19,” Ganesh BK, the organization’s president stated in a press statement.
Cases of caste-based discriminations and untouchability have increased at a time when the entire nation is fighting against the pandemic. Rights activists say Dalits have been facing multiple problems in these testing times.
RDN, which was established 10 years ago with an aim of resolving multiple problems faced by Dalit community, has been raising the voice for Dalits and marginalized community. It believes exclusion of Dalits in politics is major reason behind backwardness and undersedation of Dalit community in state mechanisms.
“Some of the issues are addressed in the Constitution. The government has formed a committee to address the problem of landless, squatters and freed Haliya and other bounded laborers,” said BK, “To rehabilitate landless people they should be organized and mobilized so that they would get land.”