Action sought against Shankar Pokhrel for "black" tweet

KATHMANDU: CPN-UML Standing Committee member Shankar Pokhrel has been dragged into controversy over a tweet, which he deleted later, after allegations of racism and hate-mongering.

A Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal cadre on Wednesday went to file a complaint against the UML leader under the Electronic Transactions Act, 2006, at the Teku-based Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu. Police, however,  reportedly refused to prepare an FIR on cyber crime charges against Pokhrel.

Pokhrel in a tweet on Tuesday had protested the Madhesi parties' decision to observe the Black Day on the Constitution anniversary, saying the decision disrespected the Madhesi people, most of whom have dark facial complexion.

Deputy General Secretary of the FSF-N youth wing Socialist Youth Forum, Durgamani Subedi, claimed that the UML leader's message spread hatred toward a particular community and jeopardised the communal harmony.

Subedi said police refused to file the complaint as they were under some political pressure.

Pokhrel deleted the controversial post, saying his words were misinterpreted.

कालोलाई विरोधको प्रतिक वनाउने कुरा रंगभेदवादी युरोपिय चिन्तन परम्परासंग जोडिएको अर्थमा त्यसको विरोध गरेको हू । गलत अर्थ लगाए पछि हटाएको हू ।

— shankar.pokhrel (@shankarpokhrel8) September 6, 2016

Pokhrel clarified that he had protested the tradition of using black as a sign of protest, which he said was related to racist European mindset, and tried to justify that he was not against people of dark complexion.

कालोलाई विरोधको प्रतिक वनाउने प्रवृत्तिका विरुद्धमा रवर्ट मुगावेको भनाई जस्ताको त्यस्तै

— shankar.pokhrel (@shankarpokhrel8) September 7, 2016

Meanwhile, Subedi said he would go to court seeking action against Pokhrel.