Dalit activists arrested, released

Kathmandu, September 20:

Some 35 Dalit activists who were organising a candle light rally at the Prime Minister’s residence in Baluwatar to protest against the Shaileswori incident were arrested today morning.

However, all the detainee were released later in the afternoon. The rally was organised by the Joint Dalit Struggle Committee (JDSC).

The Committee had organised the rally to protest against the government’s ‘indifference’ towards the Shaileswori incident where more than 50 Dalits were thrashed by non-Dalits.

The committee had reached Baluwatar to submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala as a part of a protest programme.

The JDSC, in a press conference organised today, announced that the committee would launch strong protest programmes from tomorrow.

During the conference the Dalit activists raised serious concern over the indifference of the National Human Rights Commission and other human rights organisations towards the Shaileswori incidence. Member of the committee Durga Sob said if the government fails to take action against the culprits, the Dalit organisations would take appropriate action against them.

The organisers informed that the Dalits were compelled to flee from their houses and many are still hiding at different places. “Even the supply of drinking water, electricity and telephone lines for the Dalit community have been cut off,” said Ambika Gazmer.

One of the members Ratna Bahadur Bagchand said the committee has decided to organise sit-in-protests at ministers’ quarters and Singha Durbar.