KATHMANDU, Aug 12: Government has decided to compensate the families of the deceased in the infamous Soti incident in West Rukum. While six Dalit youths were killed, several others were left severely injured in the incident.
KATHMANDU/ JAJARKOT, June 24: Wrapped in a dull white shawl and faded blue petticoat, Sunita Sunar, 19, looked rather emotionless when surrounded by a bunch of media persons and human rights activists at her home in Jajarkot in the afternoon of June 9. Unaware of the gloomy air around, her daughter Eliza tried to draw the attention of her mother every now and then. Eliza, 2, has been told that her father is going to come back soon. Tikaram Sunar won’t be back to meet his family again; he is one among six to lose life in the barbaric Rukum incident.
RUKUM (WEST), June 19: The parliamentary committee formed to probe the incident in which six persons were killed at Chaurjahari Municipality-8, Soti in Rukum (West), has started face-to-face consultations with the sides concerned in the district.
KATHMANDU, June 17: Their close friends from the non-Dalit community, whenever took them to their house, there would be a deal before they reach the doorstep. “Please don't tell your surname,” the Dalits would be told. Falling in love, accidently or thoughtfully, without being caste conscious is always a nightmare for them. They have dozens of told and untold stories hidden in their souls that continue to haunt them. And the biggest torture is that they know their children will not get any better world to live in.
KATHMANDU: A committee formed by the Ministry of Home Affairs to probe the Soti incident of West Rukum has concluded that the six Dalit youths who lost their lives in the incident had been stoned to death.
Have you ever heard a Brahmin man murdered for marrying a Dalit woman? At least, I have not. Love is blind, it is said. But I say love has eyes of caste, race, ethnicity, religion, sex, wealth, and geography. The provision of the constitution that all adults, irrespective of their gender and caste, can choose their partners sounds like a false promise.
On May 23, Nawaraj Bk, along with a group of his friends from Jajarkot district, traveled to Soti in Chaujahari Municipality of Western Rukum district to bring Nawaraj’s girlfriend as his bride back to their home district. But they were attacked with weapons, stones and chased into the Bheri River. The dead bodies of five men including Nawaraj were discovered later while another man is still missing.
In the last few weeks there have been two deaths that have shocked their respective nations. George Flyod who was killed in cold blood by a police officer in Minneapolis and Navaraj BK who was lynched in west Rukum in Nepal. These were not acts of mindless violence but rather part of a systematic violence meant to keep an order and quell any threat to it. Unarmed Flyod was considered to be a threat to three armed police officers as one of them chocked him to death, despite his screams for help and Navaraj whose act of walking to his lover’s house was considered to be too great a threat that he and his friends needed to be beaten, chased and then drowned in the river. They were both threatening a system, a mindset that is so afraid that it will not tolerate even a semblance of resistance and change, a system and mindset that created a certain establishment that has been working for centuries. As such both were killed long before their murderers even lifted a finger, their deaths were ordained centuries before they were even born. These were two institutional murders that have demonstrated the continuing existence and perhaps the thriving of two ancient and deep seated prejudices in human civilization: Caste and race.
During the People’s War (1996-2006), I was working as the secretary of People's Power Consolidation Department in the base area. I remember meeting a group of Dalits while I was on my way to Balidan Commune in Rukum. They were marching with panche baja, the traditional set of musical instruments. The group was displaying their instruments of production as if they werecarrying their weapons with confidence and pride. I was surprised, amused and satisfied to see such a sense of empowerment on their faces! That was 2005.