Ganga Maya refuses to end hunger strike

Kathmandu, July 9

Ganga Maya Adhikari today rejected the government’s request to end her fast-unto-death at Bir Hospital.

Chhabilal Paudel, a resident of then Phujel VDC of Gorkha who was accused of murdering her son Krishna Prasad Adhikari, surrendered before the Supreme Court yesterday.

After Paudel’s surrender, Secretary of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Gautam and Spokesperson for the Ministry of Home Affairs Ram Krishna Subedi visited Bir Hospital to request Ganga Maya to end her hunger strike.

Ganga Maya began her fast-unto-death for the fourth time on May 29, demanding that murder accused Chhabilal Poudel, his son Parshuram Paudel and nephews Bhimsen Paudel, Ram Prasad Adhikari and Januka Paudel be arrested.

Her son Krishna Prasad was murdered during the insurgency on 6 June 2004.

Speaking at a press meet organised to hold talks with Ganga Maya and government officials to end the hunger strike, Ganga Maya said although Chhabilal Paudel had surrendered before the court, other culprits had not. Refusing to end the hunger strike, she said she would end her strike only after the arrest of all the culprits.

“I cannot trust the government as the accused Chhabilal was set free by the court in the past as well. Until the government provides me written commitment to punish the murderers of my son, I will not end the hunger strike,” she reiterated her demand.  While requesting her to end the hunger strike, Secretary at the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Gautam said Ganga Maya should trust the government. “Chhabilal Paudel has already been sent to Dillibazar Prison. Ganga Maya should end her fast-unto-death,” he added.

On 17 April  2014, Chitwan District Court had ordered that Chhabilal Paudel be released on bail. The order was endorsed by Hetauda Appellate Court on 18 June 2015. Ganga Maya fears that the same story will be repeated after she ends her hunger strike.

Ashik Ram Karki, an advocate from Ganga Maya’s side, said the government had addressed her demands. Speaking to The Himalayan Times, he said they were trying to convince her to end the hunger strike. “Due to lack of written commitment, she could not trust government officials,” he added.

Victim Krishna Prasad Adhikari’s father Nanda Prasad had died on 22 September 2014, after 329 days of fast-unto-death at Bir Hospital.