Tharuhat supporters stage protest

Dhangadi, November 5

Tharuhat supporters and kin of persons arrested for their alleged involvement in Tikapur incident today staged a demonstration in Kailali’s Dhangadi demanding release of those arrested following the incident.

The demonstrators sought their family members’ release, accusing the police of framing innocent persons. Of the 123 persons accused of involvement in the Tikapur carnage, 26 have been remanded to judicial custody while the rest are at large.

Today’s demonstration was organised by Tikapur Incident Prison Victim Families’ Association and Federal Alliance Tharuhat/Tharuwan Joint Struggle Committee.

The demonstrators took out a rally from Campus Road and passed through major throughfares before converging in front of the District Administration Office, Dhangadi.

“As many of the arrested are innocent, the government should release them,” said Himadevi Chaudhary of Thapapur-7, Nawalpur, Kailali. Her husband is one of the 26 persons taken into custody. “Ever since he landed in prison, survival has been extremely hard for my family,” she added.

Further, Himadevi criticised the government for arbitrarily filing case against her husband. “Though the state chose to bring to book the persons involved on the first day, it has been keeping mum over the incident when people flocked to the Tharu villages and set our houses alight the next day,” she said.

Rameshwori Chaudhary, kin of Lahuram Chaudhary, who is also in custody, expressed similar views and said they were protesting the government’s bias manner. “As the demand for a Tharuhat province is a political issue, the state should be ready to withdraw the cases of those arrested during a political campaign,” he said.

Rameshwori further informed that a fresh agitation against the government was on the cards. “We have submitted several memos seeking release of those arrested, but as the government turned a deaf ear to our demands, we don’t have any option except agitation,” he said.

On his part, Federal Alliance Tharuhat/Tharuwan Joint Struggle Committee’s Krishna Chaudhary ‘Kundan’ said the Tikapur issue should be resolved politically keeping in mind the political nature of the incident. As many as nine people were killed in the incident on August 24 last year.