HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
GORKHA: Prisoners in Gorkha District Jail have launched a relay hunger strike demanding that they be granted general amnesty on the occasion of Republic Day, which is observed on Jestha 15 (May 28). There are 86 prisons doing time in the jail.
They said they have spent enough time in the correctional institution and that they deserve to be freed now.
Ashok Thapa, an inmate who has been doing time for the last eight years, said it was not practical, nor scientific, to keep prisoners in jail for so long for their ‘one mistake’. “We are also citizens of this country, and we also should be allowed to taste freedom in republic Nepal,” he said. “We will start fast-unto-death from tomorrow if our voices go unheard.” Thapa warned that they won’t allow the jail administration to admit new prisoners. Nor will we allow the administration to take inmates to hospital or court, they said. “If we are forced to break our protest, we will not hesitate to immolate ourselves.”
Another prisoner Samir Bista said there is no law for powerful people and those from so-called high class. “We have seen influential people getting off scot-free even for their hundreds of crimes and poor people like us have to suffer at the hands of state,” he said. “Balkrishna Dhungel, who has been convicted by the Supreme Court for murder is walking free just because he has the political clout and we have been languishing in jail for long for petty crimes.” Bista demanded that the law should be equal for all and it should not discriminate the poor from the rich.
Gorkha CDO Kamal Prasad Bhattarai said he had heard about the protest launched by the prisoners and added that he would do the needful to reach the depth of the matter.