TIKAPUR, August 23: Two years have passed by since the heart-wrenching Tikapur incident in Kailali district, in which eight police personnel and a toddler were brutally lynched. That incident is said to have been triggered by conflict and hatred between Tharus of tarai and Pahadis of hills. However, looking back at it two years later, the incident seemed to have no effect on the harmony between the two communities.
Instead, it has been observed that the harmony between the two communities has grown stronger over the course of time. A perfect example could be the recently concluded local level elections in Tikapur. On the one hand, the elections were held peacefully. On the other, the election saw mixed results for candidates of both the communities were elected, which can be taken as the people's way of urging the leaders to travel the road ahead hand in hand.
“The election results indeed show that the social harmony has been intact here,” said Tapendra Rawal, Mayor of Tikapur. “The voters have not elected candidates of only one community. The election results are mixed which means candidates from both communities have been elected. It shows that the voters have sent us a message to move forward in harmony.”
Pradeep Chaudary, chairman of neighboring Janaki Rural Municipality, agrees with the Tikapur mayor. “The local level elections have played a big role to cut the distance between Tharus and Pahadis. The voters' desire to move in harmony is clear,” he said.
The government has provided compensation to the people of Tharu community who were victimized by the arson of August 22, 2015. Chairman Chaudhary said this has also built the base for promoting harmony between the two communities.
“We are feeling that the state has understood our plights even though late,” said Chaudhary, who is also among the victims. “I pledge to play a constructive role to minimize the distance between the two communities. Others too should do the same,” he added.
The government has filed a case against 58 individuals who were allegedly involved in the Tikapur incident. Among them, 22 have been arrested while 34 accused are still at large and two of the accused have been released for being underage. However, the victims of the incident said the government has aggravated their wounds by not concluding the cases.
Human rights activist Firu Lal Chaudhary said the court case of Tikapur incident should be settled without further delay. “Settling the court case would bring the two communities even closer,” he said.
Mohan Joshi, acting Chief District Officer of Kailali, said there has been no incident of conflict between Tharus and Pahadis in the past two years since the Tikapur incident. “We lived in harmony in the past, and we will continue to do so. This proves our communal harmony and is a positive message,” said Joshi.