Silgadhi Dalits flee village after continued protests

Dipayal, September 18:

Dalits of Silgadhi have fled the village after non-Dalits continued demonstrations today against them for entering the Shaileshwori temple.

Officials of Dalit organisations and other local Dalits have fled to Dipayal, Rajpur and Dadeldhura. They said they were not safe in Silgadhi and accused the local administration of not providing security.

Nira Jairu of the National Dalit Network, who fled to Dipayal, blamed political parties of remaining silent despite occurrence of such a major incident. Non-Dalit demonstrators, armed with lathis and sharp-edged weapons, continued their demonstration today. They chanted slogans against the Dalits and the seven parties. Locals said the demonstrations were led by those using the guthi land of the temple.

Dalit employees, posted at government offices in Silgadhi, could not attend office. The demonstrators pelted stones at the district administration office. Seven policemen were injured in the process.

Silgadhi bazaar remained closed. DSP of Doti, Soti Singh Dhami said security forces have been deployed to control the demonstrators. “Four persons were arrested and released after interrogation,” he said. Saying that the main instigator has been identified, Dhami added that he would be arrested soon and action would be taken.

The CPN-UML, Doti, in a statement condemned the incident. CDO of Doti, Bal Dev Bhattarai could not be contacted for comments.

Meanwhile, a report from Kathmandu said various Dalit organisations have condemned the attack on Dalits for entering the Shaileswori temple.

Issuing a press release the Joint Republican Dalit Front Nepal has expressed serious concern over the incident claiming that was the barbaric act of anti-people elements.

The front has also expressed solidarity to struggle and appealed the struggle committee to fight against the remains of the Hindu feudalism.

The front has demanded treatment and compensation to those injured during the incident and stern legal action against the criminals.

National Gender Allies (NGA) has also condemned the attack on the Dalit community. The NGA has demanded stern action to the attackers and treatment as well as compensation to the injured.

A statement issued by Nepal Dalit Confederation has demanded the government to probe into the incident.

Journos’ demo

DIPAYAL: Journalists here staged a demonstration on Monday to protest against the maltreatment on them by non-Dalits. Protesting non-Dalits had verbally abused local journalists including Min Bam, Tekendra Deuba, Siddha Raj Upadhyay and Rana Bohara for reporting the news of their yesterday’s protest programme. A rally, led by the Doti Achham chapter of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists, went around Dipayal Bazaar chanting slogans demanding security for journalists and action against those mistreating them. They accused the journalists of encouraging the Dalits to enter the temple. President of FNJ, Doti Uddhav Dhant said the Nepali press will uphold truth and write in favour of the people without fear. Meanwhile, local journalists of Doti fled to Dipayal. — HNS