Terai Human Rights Defenders Alliance, (THRDA) published a press release about the mass arrest of leaders of political party – Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) throughout southern Nepal, Tarai-Madhes.
Below is the press release.
June 18, 2017
Large number of Arrest of RJP leaders throughout Terai
Terai Human Rights Defenders Alliance, (THRDA) is deeply saddened over the arbitrary and unjustified use of force by the police against protesters and arbitrary arrests of protesters in various parts of the country. THRDA also deplores acts of surveillance by security personnel against the leaders and cadres of the RJPN in various districts.
THRDA received reports that four persons were seriously injured when the police fired bullets at protesters at Buddha Chowk in Nawalparasi’s Parasi Bazaar. The injured persons include Narsingh Chaudhary, Suresh Gupt, Rameshor Kushwaha and Bhagwant Gupt. All of them were injured were hit by bullet above the waist. The incident took place on 17 June, 2017 when Chair of the Presidium of Rastriya Janata Party, Nepal Mahantha Thakur was addressing the mass meeting organized in protest of the second phase local election scheduled for 28 June. It is reported that four cadres of RJPN were arrested by police in Nawalparasi district.
Meanwhile, the police arrested fourteen district leaders of RJPN in Biratnagar on 16 June while they were marching to padlock the election office of Morang district and on 17 June thirteen RJPN leaders were arrested in Nepalgunj of Banke district. The leaders of RJPN have claimed that many of their leaders and cadres were under security forces’ surveillance in Banke.
The police arrested 16 leaders of RJPN from Tribhuvan Chowk of Nepalgunj. According to DSP Saroj Paudel of District Police Office, Banke; among those who were arrested are Ram Kumar Dixit, members of RJPN district presidium Keshav Ram Verma, Laxmi Narayan Verma and Phulchandra Tiwari, RJPN district secretaries Mahmood Alam Siddiqui, Suresh Kumar Verma and RJPN district members Rajendra Gupta, Meraj Ansari, Mohmmed Rasul Shah, Manoj Verma, Kitakal Nisha Darjee and Ram Gopal Verma. SP Tek Prasad Rai said the RJPN leaders were arrested to prevent them from creating obstruction during the filing of nomination papers by the candidates on June 18. Central Vice Chair of RJPN Bijay Kumar Gupta said the police intervened in peaceful programme of the party and arrested the party leaders.
Fourteen RJPN cadres were arrested on 16 June from Biratnagar when they had gone to padlock the election office in the city. Among the arrested cadres of the RJPN were Radhe Kamat, Ramanand Sah, Jagadish Adhikari, Chandra Prasad Rajbanshi, Suresh Singh, Rajiv KC, Laxmi Raman Jha, Munni Karna, BP Mandal, Bijay Das, Dona Devi Mandal, Nilam Devi Yadav, and Shradhanand Das. THRDA Alliance also condemns the acts of security personnel’s surveillance against RJPN leaders and cadres. Fourteen leaders of RJP were reportedly arrested in Sunsari district too.
Meanwhile, the police baton charged the protesters in Janakpurdham on June 18 when the protesters were protesting peacefully against the second phase of local polls. The police arrested 40 protesters from the city which included those who were injured during the use of force by the police. Member of RJPN presidium Dhanusha Parmeshwar Sah, Sanjay Kumar Singh, and central member of the party Punarmudrit Jha were injured by the police.The police beat up RJPN central member Rita Jha, Bindu Thakur, Bibha Thakur, Sarita Sharma and Chanda Thakur and later arrested them. It is reported that the police has misbehaved with women leaders and have also done I’ll treatment with other arrested protestor.
THRDA has also been receiving reports that the RJP leaders and cadres in many districts have been under the situation of house arrest and not been allowed to go out of their residence.
The THRDA urge the security forces to respect people’s right to freedom of peaceful assembly. THRDA also urges the security forces to ensure that the arrested persons are not subjected to torture or ill treatment. The RJP has been demanding to amend the constitution to meet their key demands and ensure the number of local levels in Madhes in proportion to the population of the region, and therefore, it is the responsibility of a democratic government to find and amicable solution to the agitating forces political demands without resorting repressive measures.THRDA urge all the concerned stakeholders to maintain maximum restraint and avoid confrontation, clashes, violence and human rights violation. THRDA also urges the government to release the arrested leaders as soon as possible.
Satish Chandra Shah
Media & Communication Coordinator
THRDA is one of the premier human rights organizations in Nepal. Check out their website for more reports.