KATHMANDU: Rights activists and intellectuals of different sections of the society have expressed serious concern over the government’s interference on the prosecution of the recent case of caste-based discrimination.
As many as 52 members of the civil society including rights activists and intellectuals have said their attention have been drawn over the direct interference of Education Minister on Rupa Sunar’s case of caste based discrimination not allowing to rent room and free the perpetrator Saraswoti Pradhan without proper investigation.
Issuing a press statement here on Tuesday, the civil society members have said the incident of caste-based discrimination against Rupa Sunar was a punishable act against Nepal’s Constitution, Caste-based discrimination and Untouchability (Offence and Punishment) Act 2011, and international covenants against violation of Human Rights.
“The June 23 act of as Education and Technology Minister, Krishna Gopal Shrestha of releasing the perpetrator on bail misusing his authority and putting pressure on the Police, has not only weakened the mentality of investigating officers it has also affected the independent investigation process challenging the criminal justice system,” states the release. “We cannot accept such interference from a high-level government authority.”
Social movement was necessary for social justice as the Dalits are not given rooms to rent, they are thrashed and even murdered for touching drinking water and inter-caste marriage. “We have felt that the action of Minister Shrestha to free and protect the perpetrator was not only a serious blow against the expectation of justice by Dalit community but also against the social justice,” said the civil society leaders. “We would like to appeal everyone to ensure an end of caste-based discrimination from all the sections of the society and ensure the rights of Dalit community as per the constitutional and legal provisions.”
They have also demanded an end of all direct and indirect interference at different levels against ensuring the rule of law.
The civil society members issuing the statement include Dr. Shashi Adhikari, Kathmandu, Hari Sharma, Political Analyst, Kathmandu; Dr. Renu Adhikary, Rights Activist, Kathmandu; Indu Tuladhar, Rights Activist Kathmandu, Dr Birendra Raj Pokharel, Rights Activists, Kathmandu; Manish Dhakal, Rights Activist, Kathmandu; Jagannath Lamichhane, activist Kathmandu; Rabindra Nath Thakur, Human Rights Activist, Kapilvastu; Prem Sapkota, Activist, Kavre and Keshav Badi, Social Activist, Bardiya
Similarly, Pradip Pariyar, Kathmandu; Sanju Sah, Rights Activist, Morang; Bhakta Biswokarma, Acting Chair, DNF, Kathmandu; Rem BK, Journalist and Rights Activist; Devendra Biswokarma, Ilam; Bidur Subedi, Dhankurta; Nabil Silwal, Activist, Dhading; Manomohan Swar, Journalist Kailali; Basanti Chaudhari, Rights Activist Kailali; Advocate Ajay Shankar Jha, Kathmandu; Suman Adhikari, Rights Activist and Abhay Joshi, Darchula have expressed concern against government’s action against caste-based discrimination.
The activists also include Bhawani Prasad Pande, Journalist; Shiva Nath Yadav, Youth Activist, Parsa; Nitu Pokhrel, Women Rights Activist, Kathmandu; Kiran Koushal, Journalist, Palpa; Prabhakar Bagchand, Journalist, Kailali; Parina Tharu, Sexual Minority Rights Activist, Bardiya; Devidutta Acharya, Rights Activist Banke; Khim BK, Women Rights Activist, Bardiya; Shyam Shah, Women Rights Activist, Siraha; Nirmal Upreti, Advocate, Kathmandu; Daya Sagar Shrestha, Rights Activist, Kavre; Dr Prakash Bhattarai, Human Rights Activist, Kathmandu; Anita Thapaliya, Advocate, Kathmandu and Kamal Basel, Rights Activist, Ramechhap.
Similarly, Sabitra Ghimire, Women Rights Activist, Dhangadhi; Umesh Biswokarma, Rights Activist, Morang; J B Biswokarma, Rights Activist, Kathmandu; Ajit Acharya, Rights Activist Tanahun; Sujin Saksena, Researcher, Dhanusha; Tika Dahal, Rights Activist, Kathmandu; Laxmi Shrestha, Rights Activist, Kapilvastu; Janak Raut, Conflict Victims Rights Activist; Deepjyoti Shrestha, Youth Campaigner, Nuwakot; Kailash Neupane, Campaigner, Kathmandu; Rupesh Karna, Youth Campaigner, Janakpur; Bibek Lama, Musician, Dhading; Nabil Silwal, Campaigner, Dhading; Kabi Adhikari, Rights Activist, Kathmandu, Dr Anita Shrestha, Women Rights Activist, Kathmandu and Soma Niroula, Human Rights Activist, Kathmandu have also stated that they don’t accept interference of government.