South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a regional network of human rights defenders, urges the Government of Nepal to ensure justice by conducting a prompt and rigorous investigation over recent caste-based killings.
SAHR expresses its concern over horrific incidents that happened in Nepal recently. On 23, May Nabaraj BK, a 21-year-old Dalit man from Rukum in northern Nepal, along with his 5 friends were killed by his girlfriend Rosy Malla’s villagers who belong to a privileged caste. On the same day, Angira Pasi, a 13-year-old Dalit girl from Rupandehi in Southern Nepal was raped by her neighbor Birendra Bhar who belonged to a privileged caste. Bhar’s family brutally beat up Angira and two hours later she was found dead. SAHR learns that the police initially refused to register a complaint on behalf of Angira Pasi and finally agreed only after public outrage. Few days back, a Dalit boy committed suicide while in police custody in Dhanusha District. SAHR learns that protests are being held requesting to conduct a free and fair investigation of this suicide.
Even amidst laws in place to protect minorities, Dalits in Nepal have been continuously subjected to systematic violence and discrimination. There is much skepticism over the conduct of police with regard to cases of violence against Dalits. A large number of cases go unreported or justice has not been delivered to many cases reported.
While welcoming the nine-member committee formed to investigate the Rukum incident, we are concerned that many recommendations from various commissions on the previous caste-based killings were never implemented fully.
Therefore, it is important that the government ensures that the recommendations are effectively implemented and the committee is able to function independently without any political interference in order to obtain justice to the victims. We further call on the Government to similarly conduct an independent investigation into the murder of Angira Pasi.
SAHR is also concerned that commissioners have not been appointed to the National Dalit Commission which was established under the new constitution in 2015 to promote the rights of the Dalits.
The recent killings are a reminder that impunity and caste-based inequalities still remain rampant in Nepal. Therefore, we call upon the Government of Nepal to take all measures to end caste-based discrimination against Dalits and ensure justice for the recent killings.
On behalf of the members of South Asians for Human Rights,