The National Human Rights Commission today summoned Minister of Physical Transport Renu Kumari Yadav and warned her against making incendiary or hateful speech.

The rights body summoned Yadav for issuing threats against Janamat Party Chair CK Raut. Yadav had issued threats against Raut on January 19 while addressing a programme organised by the youth wing of her party, the Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal, in Rautahat.

The NHRC issued a press release saying that it summoned Yadav and quizzed her about the remarks.

Yadav admitted that although her remarks were threatening, they were not aimed against anyone in particular, stated the NHRC. Stating that she had no intention of inciting violence, the minister said she would never make any such statement again. Chairperson and members of the NHRC told Yadav that being a minster of Cabinet rank she should know better and not say anything that could incite violence or affect social harmony.

Urging the minister to maintain decorum in the face of political rivalry, office bearers of the NHRC directed Yadav not to make threatening statements in the future.

The rights body told the minister that freedom of expression was not without reasonable restrictions and she should always be mindful about respecting others human rights.

Yadav's statement against Raut came at a time when Raut's party was trying to seize political opportunities in the Tarai by organising people and raising issues concerning local people and farmers. The Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal and Democratic Socialist Party-Nepal, which treat Madhes as their political bastion, face a political challenge from the Janamat Party's increased political activities on the eve of local elections.

During her January 19 speech, Yadav allegedly justified Rautahat violence that resulted in the killing of 28 CPN- MC cadres in 2007.

Major political parties also condemned Yadav's statement.

A version of this article appears in the print on February 4, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.