Dalits bring traffic to a halt in Banke

Nepalgunj, September 22:

Traffic came to a halt in Banke district today as the Unified Dalit Protesting Committee staged a chakkajam on the Nepalgunj-Kohalpur road section to protest the recent Shaileshwori temple incident, in which non-Dalits had beaten about 50 Dalits while the latter were trying to enter the temple. Vehicles bound for different destinations were stuck in Kohalpur.

The police arrested 15 of the protesters in a bid to reopen the road. A brief clash ensued between the protesters and the police.

Iman Singh Sunar, a central member of the Federation of Dalit Non-government Organisations, was manhandled.

Thirteen protesters, who were arrested from Kohalpur, were set free an hour later, the police said, adding two arrested from Nepalgunj are still in custody.

The protest will continue until the government compensates the Dalits injured in the Shaileshwori temple incident, said Nanda BK, the assistant coordinator of the protesting committee.

“The Doti Chief District Officer and the police chief should be suspended as they could not provide us security,” said Jas Bahadur Bishwokarma, the regional chairman of the Federation of Dalit Non-government Organisations.