Morcha exerts pressure on govt to address non-political demands

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 16, 2016-

Accusing the government of not stopping the arrest of its cadres even after the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha’s decision to end highway- and border-centric protests, SLMM leaders have asked the government to create an environment conducive to talks by fulfilling the non-political demands as per the past understanding.

SLMM leaders said the local administration had been arresting more of its cadres on criminal charges linked with several incidents that took place during the five months of the Tarai unrest. Earlier this week, police arrested some of Morcha’s local leaders for their alleged involvement in lynching Armed Police Force ASI Thaman Bahadur BK.

BK was killed by a mob in Jaleshwor, Mahottari, in September last year on his way to hospital after sustaining injuries in a confrontation with the agitators. Mahantha Thakur, chairman of the Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party, said the government had been complicating things instead of taking concrete steps to end the trust deficit. He said the government had not lived up to its promise made during the talks “to create an environment for substantive dialogue”.

In the past meetings with Morcha, representatives of the major parties had pledged to address the Madhesi parties’ non-political demands including disbursement of compensation to families of the deceased protesters, martyr status for the movement victims and withdrawing of charges against protesters arrested during the stir.

Though no exact data are available, Morcha has claimed that more than 1,000 of its cadres face criminal charges and several families of the deceased protesters are yet to get compensation.

More than 50 people were killed in the Tarai agitation that flared with the major parties endorsing the new constitution in September last year.

Meanwhile, the Tharuhat/Tharuwan Joint Struggle Committee has also urged the government to release its top leaders and cadres. Raj Kumar Lekhi, a Tharu leader, claimed that hundreds of Tharu protesters including prominent leaders Laxman Tharu and Lahu Ram Tharu are still in police custody. Police had arrested more than four dozen Tharu protesters in the wake of the Kailali incident that claimed the lives of eight police officials and a child.

Published: 16-02-2016 08:15

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