“There’s no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were,” the American president Dwight D Eisenhower once said. Indeed, nothing can be a greater tragedy for a mother than to lose a son or a daughter that she has nurtured with unconditional love and care. To lose a child to a murder could be extremely agonizing experience for any human being. And to deny justice to such mother who is demanding that the state bring the perpetrators to book could be even more painful. Sadly and egregiously, Nepali state has been treating a mother with such cruelty for the past several years, totally unconcerned toward sense of justice and call from various rights activists and organizations for justice. Ganga Maya Adhikari, who has been in fresh hunger strike for the last one month (and counting), is bearing with this agony for every second while the state and justice delivery mechanisms are callously watching with total apathy.
The pain and suffering of Ganga Maya Adhikari can be imagined. She has been seeking justice for the murder of her son, Krishna Prasad Adhikari, for the past 13 years. She along with her husband, Nanda Prasad Adhikari (who breathed his last on September 22, 2014 while giving continuity to hunger strike with the same demand) launched a number of hunger strikes in the past. They had first begun strike in front of Prime Minister’s official residence in Baluwatar in January 2013. They were not heard. Then they started second hunger strike the following month and ended it on 47th day following an agreement with the government, which assured action against the suspects. But these suspects were released later. Now she has been fighting this battle for justice all alone. It has been established that Krishna Prasad was murdered during the Maoist insurgency in 2004. The Supreme Court has already issued verdict to keep in prison the accused Chhabi Lal Poudel, but it has not been implemented yet. Ganga Maya wants this verdict, which should have been implemented long ago, to be implemented right away. It is appalling that a person has to put her life at stake to remind the state of its basic duty of providing justice.
Now the health condition of Ganga Maya Adhikari is deteriorating. National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has urged the government to be sensitive to save the life of Ganga Maya. Likewise, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Nepal, Valerie Julliand, has also expressed her concern for her health. So far all appeals have gone on deaf ears. It is not hard to understand why the government is standing as a mute spectator. The party to which Chhabi Lal Poudel belonged is now in the government and it seems bent on protecting him. This is where the government is making a big mistake: giving political protection to the convict. The government must not forget that continued apathy to demands of Ganga Maya has already earned it big defamation nationally and internationally. We urge Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli to intervene and take measures to save her life. Nepal has already earned a bad name by letting Nanda Prasad Adhikari die under its watch. Ganga Maya Adhikari is a mother and a symbol of voice for justice. She should be saved by every means possible.