Analyzing the situation on ground based on protest monitoring, Terai Human Rights Defenders (THRD) Alliance concluded that the state has recently adopted a kind of crackdown strategy throughout Terai. It will only push the movement toward further violence, as per the press release issued by THRD Alliance on Wednesday.
As a part of the crackdown strategy, police have recently filed false charges such as public offence, robbery and theft against a dozen of protesters, according to THRD Alliance, which have shown its serious concerns over such acts.
As per the records maintained at THRD Alliance, UDMF Sarlahi district coordinator Ashok Yadav was apprehended by the police on December 20, 2015 from Malangwa based ‘Radio Madhes’ where he was for an interview. A case of public offence has been filed on Yadav, and the District Administration Office (DAO) Sarlahi has released him on bail.
Likewise, police investigations into robbery and theft cases that were charged on seven protesters in Saptari district based on the complaints of police themselves within last week of December 2015 are underway. Three of them – Krishna Kumar Payak, 21, of Bhardaha VDC-1, Manaraj Mandal, 20, of Portaha VDC-8, and Sanjit Kumar Yadav, 25, of Bharaha-8 were arrested on charge of robbery. Riju Jha, 20 of Bharaha-4 was also arrested on charge of theft. Although the cases of robbery have been filed against Sanjiv Mandal, 28, of Madhavapur VDC-4, and Narayan Yadav, 27, of Bharadah-8 and Sundar Mukhita of Bhardaha-4 charged with robbery and theft, they have not been arrested.
Similarly, the DAO of Dhanusha on December 24, 2015 filed cases against Shila Devi, 40, of Janakpur Sub-metropolitan city-4 on charge of vandalism and attacks in Janaki Temple under ancient monument preservation act 2013 (BS). We also found that police arrested Sitaram Mandal, Rahul Kumar Raut and Ritesh Kumar Mandal and charged them with public offence.
On December 29, police brutally thrashed Madhes Adhikar Sangharsh Samiti (MASS) Coordinator Navin Yadav, 23, and Federal Socialist Student Forum Dhanusha Chairperson Kisan Kumar Sah, 22, after they were called for a discussion at Janaki Police Station. Police beat up Navin with boots and batons and Kisan over his abdomen after taking them into custody. The youths, who were seriously injured, are now receiving treatment at Janakpur Zonal Hospital.
According to THRD Alliance, the state, on one hand, has used excessive use of force during Madhes protest and demonstrations while, on the other hand, false charges such as public offence, robbery and theft have been filed on some innocent youths and Madhesi leaders with an aim to suppress the movement.
“This is completely against fundamental rights to peaceful demonstration,” the press statement reads.
THRD Alliance has urged police to stop filing false charges on innocent district level agitating leaders and protesters following their arbitrary detention and also to refrain from using excessive force. It has also urged the agitating groups to organize the protest programs in a peaceful manner.
Here is the press statement issued by THRD Alliance: