The Asian Human Rights Commission’s partner organisation the Tarai Human Rights Defenders Alliance has secured information that the Nepal police have started arresting Madhesi protesters in different cases, mostly related to events that occurred during the five-month long protests and blockade in the southern plains.
The AHRC issued a press statement saying this is a systematic trend of framing frontline Madhesi demonstrators at district levels following the end of strikes.
“The trend is serious in a way that these local leaders who were active during the five-month long protests have now been facing legal hassles, and they are now compelled to face intimidation from the state security agencies,” the rights body said.
The rights body said that this trend of charging and filing false cases against local Madhesi leaders could push Tarai onto the path of violence once again.
“Immediate intervention is needed to foil this trend of keeping Madhesi parties’ leaders embroiled in criminal cases without any proper investigation and without having primae facie evidence,” the AHRC added, “It seems that these charges are politically motivated and are conspired to discourage peaceful and constructive political activities in Tarai in the days to come.”
The AHRC said no one should escape from their criminal liabilities, as zero tolerance of impunity should be strongly enforced.
However, the security forces should not manipulate the criminal investigation system to target certain political or ethnic groups.
“ Evidence based criminal investigation should take place, not the politically motivated trend of keeping large number of names in the First Information Report and then issuing arrest warrants like in the case of assistant sub-inspector Thaman BK’s killing,” the AHRC said.
The police have accused 18 Madhesi protesters in Thaman BK’s case, said the rights body.
The AHRC said killings of security personnel should be investigated and perpetrators should be booked, however, recent actions were against Madhesi demonstrators only.
“The government authorities have not taken any action against the killing of 41 persons (of which 22 were bystanders).
Neither has the state’s constitutional body, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), made its investigation report public, nor have any publicly visible actions against those involved in the killings of demonstrators and bystanders been taken,” the AHRC added.
Meanwhile, a report made public by Amnesty International Nepal today said the government used excessive force during five-month long protest in the southern plains.
The report made public AI Nepal in the capital today stated that the government should also obey the verdict of the Supreme Court in relation with Tarai protests.