June 26, 2017 12:10 AM NPT
By: Krishna Oli
Dalit fined Rs 2,000 for touching cowshed
BAJURA, June 26: Untouchability system is yet to be eradicated in Bajura district.
Recently, Prem BK of Kanda was fined Rs 2,000 by a local Khadak Singh for using a path nearby Singh's cowshed. BK was on CPN-UML's promotional campaign for the polls when the incident took place.
The victim said he was penalized as per the age-old belief that people of the Dalit community should not touch cowsheds or people of higher caste and their belongings as those people are considered impure. “Singh made me pay a fine of Rs 2,000 so that the money could be used to perform a ritual for purifying the place,” he added.
While BK was in UML's promotion campaign, Singh told him to stay within the limits of a Dalit, then threatened him and penalized him, the victim complained. His fine was paid by UML's Chededaha Rural Municipality ward chairman candidate Bir Bahadur Rawal, according to BK.
The victim said Singh's family used to look down upon him for being a Dalit since long ago. They have been discriminating against him and calling him names. This time though, he was fined because he also joined UML's election promotion campaign, BK added.
Meanwhile, Bajura-based Dalit Development Form (DDF) has condemned the incident and demanded legal action against the perpetrator. The forum has submitted an application to the District Administration Office (DAO), Bajura, and various human rights organizations. It has demanded investigation on assailant Khadak Singh and others involved.
According to Shankar Chadara, secretary of DDF, they have lodged complaint at the district court on the ground of caste-based discrimination. They have demanded justice for the victim.
Dalit leader Padam Nepali of Nepali Congress also condemned the incident and demanded action against the accused. Well known Dalit singer and musician Binod Bajurali also condemned the incident and said he would take initiation to bring the issues to the notice of the central government.
The victim himself visited the district headquarters Martadi to seek justice. “We cannot bear this forever. Majority of the Dalits in the district still do cannot cast their votes in a free and fair environment,” he said, adding that initiatives against such social ills need to be taken.