Dahal at odds with govt over Kailali lynchings

Published On: September 9, 2019 08:09 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

By siding with the Tharu people, Dahal has put himself at odds with many of his NCP colleagues who see the Kailali massacre as the most gruesome crime post-Maoist insurgency.

KATHMANDU, Sept 9: Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Sunday said that the anti-constitution protest that resulted in the lynchings of seven police personnel and a toddler in Kailali in 2015 was a political uprising.

Dahal, during an interaction with the representatives of Tharuhat/Tharuwan Joint Struggle Committee (TJSC) held at his residence on Sunday, said that he was still for a political solution to the problem.

“Tikapur incident was a political revolt. The criminal case against innocent Tharus is not right,'' Dahal told Tharu leaders after receiving a memorandum that among other things demands an immediate release of those imprisoned in connection with the incident.

Rastriya Janata Party Nepal MP Resham Lal Chaudhary and 10 others are currently serving life terms for their involvement in the lynchings of SP Laxman Neupane, six other security personnel and a toddler on August 24, 2015, just weeks ahead of the promulgation of the constitution.

By siding with the Tharu people, Dahal has put himself at odds with many of his NCP colleagues who see the Kailali massacre as the most gruesome crime post Maoist insurgency.

It may be noted that Dahal during his visit to India as prime minister in 2016 had met with Chaudhary, who was on the run since the massacre, in New Delhi.

Despite growing pressure from the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal, several NCP leaders have been putting pressure on the government against releasing Chaudhary and others from prison.

Dahal's comments mark further division in the political class that has long remained divided along two factions in their explanation of the Kailali massacre. RJPN, Sawajwadi Party, and a section of leaders from the ruling and opposition parties describe the massacre as a spontaneous act from the people from 'historically oppressed communities'.

However, leaders from the ruling parties call it a premeditated attack that was carried out in an attempt to disrupt the promulgation of the constitution and flare up ethnic tension.

Dahal's views on protest are likely to increase pressure on the government, which has been refusing to release jailed Tharu leaders or make public a report on the massacre prepared by a commission headed by former supreme court justice Girish Chandra Lal.

Sources said that the report was put on hold after the commission, which had received financial support from various INGOs, has put all the blame on the government and security forces for the killings and the communal clashes that followed the incident.

Tharu stronghold of western Tarai that remained under scrutiny of security forces for more than three years is witnessing a gradual rise in political activities in the recent months. Tens of thousands of people had taken part in a protest rally organized by Sawajwadi Party Nepal earlier this month.

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