Martyrs’ Week begins, but data still missing

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 30, 2018-

Several institutions and groups observed Nepal Martyrs’ Day on Monday all over the country to honour its heroes fallen in the quest for justice and democracy.

Nepal observers Martyrs’ Week starting the 16th day of the month of Magh [Bikram Sambat] or January 29 according to Gregorian calendar, in commemoration of all known and unknown people who sacrificed their lives for the welfare of the nation.

Nepal observes this day for the past 60 years, but “official data on martyrs is still missing”, according to a National News Committee (Rastriya Samachar Samiti) report today.

“Shukraraj Shastri, Dharma Bhakta Mathema, Gangalal Shrestha and Dashrath Chand who were executed by the tyrannical Rana regime in the month of Magh in 1997 BS for raising the pitch for democracy, are revered as the ‘Four Great Martyrs’ in the country. Lakhan Thapa is respected as the ‘First Martyr’ of Nepal,” the RSS report said.

The Rana Regime reigned supreme in the Kingdom of Nepal from 1846 to 1951.

According to the Home Ministry, the government has provided financial assistance of Rs 100,000 each to the families of 19 people who attained martyrdom during the 1990’s people’s movement launched to restore democracy in the country. 

Twenty-six other people were honoured with ‘martyr status’. These people were killed during the second people’s movement in 2006. 

Although the government announced many people were killed during these pro democracy movements post 2006, the exact number of martyrs is not known at the official-level. 

The government declared 190 people as martyrs on January 17. Home Ministry’s joint spokesperson Umesh Dhakal announced this. “Though the Ministry has started maintaining martyrs’ records, it cannot give the exact number now,” the RSS quoted Dhakal as saying.

Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction’s Relief and Statistics Department Under-Secretary Mira Acharya said, “The government, on the ministry’s recommendation, had declared 1,619 people as martyrs on June 23, 2010.

Similarly, the government had on December 24, 2008 declared 6,344 people as martyrs, but there is no official data, the report added.

The government has no accurate data regarding the number of martyrs. Many people killed in the Tarai-Madhes agitations as well as various movements that took place in the country have been declared martyrs. 

Families of the martyrs complained that the trend of exerting pressure to declare any person killed in any movement as martyr and seeking one million rupees as financial aid in the country has hurt the sentiments of the real martyrs. 

Wife of martyr Pradyumna Khadka, Prabha Khadka said, “The sentiments of the families of real martyrs are hurt by the trend of declaring any random person as martyr without verifying criteria.”

The government had formed two commissions after the people’s movement 2062/63 to prepare criteria to define a martyr, the reports have not been implemented yet.

Published: 30-01-2018 07:50

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