Respect and protect human rights no matter what: NHRC

Kathmandu, December 28

The National Human Rights Commission today urged the government to seek a solution to the prolonged Tarai unrest through dialogue.

NHRC commissioners and office bearers today discussed the Tarai unrest and its impact on human rights with Home Minister Shakti Basnet.

NHRC Commissioner Mohna Ansari, who is also spokesperson for the rights body told THT that Chief Commissioner Anup Raj Sharma raised serious concern about the ‘sudden escalation in police action when things appeared to be heading towards a resolution.’

NHRC commissioners also wanted to know about recent police actions against agitators, including use of force against Sadbhawana Party Chair Rajendra Mahato.

Ansari said Home Minister Basnet told the NHRC commissioners and office bearers that they were probing the incident and some visuals they had received pointed out the possibility that Mahato might have been injured by Indian security forces.

United Democratic Madhesi Front has demanded a probe into the incident.

According to Ansari, Basnet told NHRC that the government was only concerned about ensuring unhindered movement on the highways and supply of goods and it had no plan to suppress the agitation.

Meanwhile, NHRC issued a press release saying that it wanted to draw government attention to the impacts of the ongoing Tarai unrest on people’s   human rights and their daily lives.

The NHRC said it sought to know from the Home Minister what the government was doing to protect human rights in the region and how it wanted to assist the earthquake-affected people.

According to the release, NHRC urged Basnet to respect and protect human rights.

NHRC Chair Anup Raj Sharma told Basnet that the state, as guardian of the citizens, should play a more serious role to respect, protect and abide by human rights, according to the release.

Basnet informed the commissioners that the government was making efforts to resolve the Tarai unrest through dialogue.

According to the release, security agencies were acting responsibly to ensure unhindered movement on the East-West Highway and to protect life and property.

The minister also informed the commissioners of the rights body that the government was distributing warm clothes to earthquake-affected people and was also doing the needful to rehabilitate them.

He told the NHRC Commissioners that the government would abide by its directives.