Nepal | November 21, 2019

Punish the shaman

Himalayan News Service

Apropos of the news story “Shaman sacrifices boy ‘to gain supernatural power’ ”, (THT, May 31, Page 1), it is shocking to learn that a two-and-a-halfyear-old Aryan Sah was slain in a freakish ritual as ‘human sacrifice’ by a shaman, Shatrughan Mahato, to propitiate a female deity. The incident took place in Dhalkebar of Mithila Municipality-6, Dhanusha.

This is the first recorded incident of ritual sacrifice since the adoption of the Constitution of Nepal, 2015. Everybody should understand that there can be no justification for any killing as no amount of superstitious colour can wash away the sin and offense of an unprovoked killing. Stringent action, therefore, must be taken against the perpetrator. Furthermore, the bare facts of the case have brought to light that the perpetrator needs psychological counseling. On the other hand, slaughtering the boy in the name of appeasing the goddess and gaining supernatural powers makes it clear that extreme forms of superstition still exist in the land, which is against the right of children to life ensured in Articles 6, 7, 27 of the Convention on the Rights of Children. Designed in the most dastardly manner, the sacrifice of such a vulnerable section of society by the shaman for his prosperity has certainly tarnished the image of our society. Despite the boast about investments being made by the government and I/ NGOs to raise awareness against deep-rooted superstitions like this, reports relating to such a gruesome sacrifice of a human toddler and a spate of deadly violence against children throughout the country speak volumes about the entirely flawed social, political, economic and cultural structure of ours.

Som Nath Ghimire, Kawasoti

No-go zones

This is with reference to the news story “No-go zones for freight vehicles” (THT, June 3, Page 2). The Department of Transport Management (DoTM) has recently imposed a ban on heavy and freight vehicles from entering the Ring Road, its inner areas and other trunk roads from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm. The ban will come into force from June 16. Other heavy vehicles carrying cooking gas, vegetables, milk, medical equipment and medicines will be exempt. What I would like to draw the DoTM’s attention to is, where will the heavy vehicles carrying other goods than gas, milk, vegetables, medical equipment and medicines park throughout the day? An estimated 5,000 trucks enter the Kathmandu Valley everyday via the Nagdhunga route, and the road from Naubise to Nagdhunga always remains jam-packed. Neither is there any space to hold the heavy vehicles in this section.

Where will the drivers park their heavy vehicles before allowing them to enter the capital? This move will create more traffic jams along the Nagdhunga-Naubise section of the Tribhuvan Rajpath, causing more difficulty to the people travelling to and from the capital.

The ban can be effective if the government builds enough parking spaces on this section of the road.

Ram Pandey, Naubise

A version of this article appears in print on June 04, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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