Protect political rights of Dalits: NHRC chair

Kathmandu, December 22

National Human Rights Commission Chairperson Anup Raj Sharma said Dalits could not be empowered economically, socially and culturally until their political rights were protected.

Speaking at a programme organised by Dalit Social Service Association, Sharma stressed on promoting political and economic rights of Dalits.

“All Dalit leaders representing various political parties should unite to fight for their rights. Their rights cannot be ensured unless they hold high positions in state mechanisms,” he said addressing a seminar on ‘Economic, social and cultural rights of Dalit community: Challenges and opportunities’ held here today.

Similarly, CPN-Maoist Centre leader Bishwo Bhakta Dulal said the constitution had guaranteed equal rights to Dalits, while another speaker Chakraman Bishwokarma, chairperson of the association, said the constitutional provisions regarding the rights of Dalits were yet to be implemented.

Stating that Dalits were still being discriminated against in society, Bishwokarma expressed hope that a campaign against discrimination could play a significant role in empowering Dalits. Dulal, former vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission Yubaraj Khatiwada, Prof Keshab Khadka presented papers on economic, social and cultural rights of the Dalit community.

The two-day event has been attended by Dalit leaders and representatives from 35 districts across the country.