Govt to withdraw Tharu, Madhesi movement cases

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu
Around 500 people are facing different charges for their involvement in the Tharuhat and Madhesi movements

May 19, 2017-

The government on Thursday decided to accept the Tharuhat and Madhes protests as political movements and withdraw all the cases filed against those who were involved as part of its bid to ensure agitating forces’ participation in polls scheduled for June 14 and bring them on board the constitution-implementation process.

“The government has decided to entrust Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ajay Shankar Nayak with the task of preparing a proposal for withdrawing the cases,” said Minister for Information and Communications Surendra Karki, also the spokesperson for the government, after Thursdays’ Cabinet meeting.

The government, however, has not mentioned any timeframe of the movements.

Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) leaders, who had been pressing the government to withdraw the cases, said the incidents are related to a Tharuhat movement in August 2015 and Madhes protests after October 2015. Seven security personnel and a child were killed during a Tharu protest in Tikapur, Kailali, in one of the worst incidents of violence in the run-up to the promulgation of the constitution. Several people were arrested. The agitating Tharus and Madhesis have objected to the government move of pressing criminal charges against their activists and have been demanding that the cases be withdrawn. 

According to RJP leader Keshav Jha, around 500 people are facing various charges for their involvement in the Tharu and Madhes movements.

Minister for Land Reform and Management Gopal Dahit said the government has decided to amend the work procedure, according to which the cases will be withdrawn paving the way for the release of those who have been put behind bars in relation to “the two political movements”. 

The government decision to withdraw cases against the Tharu and Madhesi activists comes a day after the RJPN leaders’ call for postponing second phase of polls. 

Their constitution amendment demand is also yet to be addressed.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet meeting on Thursday also decided to declare two persons who died in the election-related incidents—Nawaraj Pathak of Kavre and Kul Bahadur Tamang of Dolakha—martyrs and provide Rs 1 million each as compensation to their family members.

Published: 19-05-2017 08:02

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