South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NFIN) general secretary Ang Kazi Sherpa was briefly “held” at the Boudha police station in the capital where he had gone to learn about the condition of four persons arrested on charges of slaughtering a cow.

Although Boudha police later denied that Sherpa was detained and said he returned few hours after meeting the DSP at the police station, a statement circulated by the NFIN this afternoon said that Sherpa was indeed held when he reached the police station to inquire about the four persons arrested by police for slaughtering cow at Jorpati.

NFIN had also demanded a respectful release of Sherpa at the earliest and asked the government to punish those police personnel who arrested him without any reason.

The federation had also threatened of stern protest against Sherpa’s arrest if the authority doesn’t release him on time.

Following a tip-off, Boudha police had arrested the four persons from Moolpani, Jorpati late Saturday night on charges of killing a cow, an offence that is punishable by a maximum of 12 years in jail as per the country’s law.

Those who have been arrested on charges of cow slaughter are Chandra Budhathoki of Sindhuli, Dawa Moktan of Ramechap, Raj Kumar Lama of Dharan and Indra Tamang of Nuwakot.

NFIN’s Sherpa later told media-persons that he had visited the police station to learn the truth about the incident and protested his “unnecessary and illegal” detention by the police.

He also accused the police administration of arresting the four people without substantial evidence that corroborate that they have indeed killed a cow.

Although Nepal has already been declared a secular country, the interim constitution has declared cows as “national animal” and killing the four-footed animal for meat or any other purpose is illegal in a country where Hindu form the majority. However, to eat meat from a cow is not an offence against the law.

Sherpa said that NFIN would stage a sit-in protest in front of the Constituent Assembly (CA) building on Monday to repel the law that forbids slaughtering of cow, the sacred animal for Hindus.

In 2006, Kripa Bhoteni, a 50-year-old woman was sentenced to 12 years in prison for slaughtering a cow.

Bhoteni, who doesn’t follow Hinduism, was arrested after police received complaints that she killed the animal and eaten it, a charge she denied.

Despite the ban on slaughtering cows for meat, people living in the high Himalayas near Tibet who mostly follow Buddhism kill cows for meat and it is said cows are the main source of meat in the cold region.