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DalitWatch 2006:

This section serving as an information watchdog endeavors to collect, as possible, any reports of incidents or press coverage favorably or unfavorably relating to the issues and the rights of Dalit communities, who are most vulnerable for gross neglect or possible excesses of traditional caste discrimination especially during the times of crisis.

The DalitWatch news for the period of Nepal’s post mass movement period from mid-April, 2006 are covered in the Lokatantrik Andolan II section.


 Posted until April 9, 2006: -


* The dalit leaders arrested during the peaceful mass demonstrations

Many Dalit leaders have been arrested among others during peaceful mass demonstrations organized by Seven Parties' Alliance (SPA) against the autocratic regime in Nepal. The leaders from a national Dalit organization Utpidit Jatiya Muktisamaj who were arrested on 23rd, 24th and 25th Chaitra (April 5-7) from the different parts of Kathmandu City are: 1) Lal Bahadur BK, President of muktisamaj, 2) Ishwori Rizal, Tresurar of muktisamaj and member of National Dalit Commission (NDC), 3) Bhjwot Biswasi, Secretariate member of muktisamaj and member of NDC, 4) Bom BK, Secretariate member of Muktisamaj, 5) Ram Lakhan Harijan, Leader of muktisamaj, 6) Sundar Purkoti, Leader of muktisamaj, 7) Babu Ratna Deula, Leader of muktisamaj.
Report by: Pushkar Khati, General Secretary,Cultural Champaign for Equality (CUCEQ)

The nepaldalitinfo adds: The SPA opposing King Gyanendra’s direct rule has called a four day nation wide strike this week with peaceful mass demonstrations as a showdown against the autocratic royal regime. The security forces of the regime have been arresting hundreds of political leaders, journalists, human right activists, civic society members, professionals of various disciplines and people of all walks of life in a crackdown that has sparked international condemnation. A civilian was shot dead by the security troops during a peaceful protest program in Pokhara city.[April 9, 2006].

* Dalits denied entry into temple for worship: Priests defy current Constitution

A case of Dalits being denied their rights to enter a Hindu temple for worship has surfaced once again. The incident occurred recently in Shaileshwari Temple of Dipayal in the remote district of Doti, where temple priests and other non-dalits flatly denied entry of Dalits, and even misbehaved with them, as they approached the temple for religious worshipping. The priests are also reported as saying openly,"We do not believe in caste equality and do defy the country’s current constitution which guaranties equal rights of everyone to worship in the temples".

The case has been registered at the District Administration Office, to protest against the injustice meted out to Dalits, but as in the past, there had been a general apathy of the authorities to take any action on the perpetrators of atrocities against Dalits. Read more on this story at [April 9, 2006].

* Caste based discrimination in Nepal in the US Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2005

Caste based discrimination in Nepal has been included in the United States’ Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2005 , released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor on March 8, 2006. These Country reports describe the performance of 196 countries in putting into practice their international commitments on human rights that are reflected in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, have been embraced by people of every culture and color, every background and belief, and constitute what President Bush calls the "non-negotiable demands of human dignity."

Excerpts from the Full Text of the Report on Nepal:

“Societal Abuses and Discrimination-
“Although prohibited by law, caste discrimination was widely practiced at Hindu temples in rural areas and strongly influenced society. After a group of dalit women visited a Hindu temple in Siraha District on October 3, villagers prohibited them from entering shops or using public facilities available in the village. The villagers allowed the dalit women to shop after a few days, but continued to prohibit the women from revisiting the Hindu temple. No action was taken against the villagers.

“Beginning October 16, some upper caste locals in Sarakpura VDC in Saptari District imposed a blockade on a dalit hamlet, to punish the latter for not playing drums during a local fete. Six dalit families were prohibited from using the public path and denied access to rice mills, medical shops, and public taps. A compromise was reached after a few days, and the dalits resumed playing drums during festivals.”

“National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities-
“Discrimination against lower castes was especially common in rural areas in the western part of the country, even though the government outlawed the public shunning of dalits and made an effort to protect the rights of the disadvantaged castes. On January 27, the National Dalit Commission relaunched a nationwide campaign to eradicate untouchability.

“Caste-based discrimination, including barring access to temples, is illegal. However, dalits were occasionally barred from entering temples. Progress in reducing discrimination was more successful in urban areas. On August 17, a Maoist raped a dalit woman and harassed three others in Saptari District. After word spread of the incident, INSEC reported that the local Maoist leadership apologized to the victims, and killed the rapist (see section 1.a.).”

* RNA intercepts a Dalit woman activist

On Saturday the 4th of March 2006 evening, a plain clothed team of Royal Nepal Army (RNA) including a Colonel arrested Central Committee member of Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO) and its Rupendehi District Committee Chairperson Kamala Bishwakarma. She was forcebly intercepted by RNA men at Maitripath in Butwal municipality for no apparent reason, when she was traveling on her way home in her motorbike, and was taken to their barracks. She was held there until 2:00 am in the next morning.

FEDO, through a press release, condemns this act of mental torturing and terrorizing a dedicated Dalit rights activist, engaged in her social work for the past 10 years, educating and empowering Dalit women who are subject to double discrimination based on caste and gender. Dalit intellectuals show their solidiarity with FEDO in condemning the state's army's act against fundamental human rights of one being able to move freely without fear.

* Nepal Lawyers' Conference highlights inclusive democracy-
“Human Rights, Rule of Law and Inclusive Democracy: Resolving Conflict” as the conference theme

Senior Justice of the Supreme Court and Chief Guest at the Nepal Lawyers’ Conference, Mr. Anup Raj Sharma said, "Until and unless we ensure human rights of the citizens, establish rule of law and bring-about democracy that treats people of all castes and creeds equally and involves them in decision making, sustainable peace cannot be restored. " He said, "such an environment is possible through political means and Nepal Bar Association can play the role of a catalyst." A four-day-long Tenth National Conference of Legal Practitioners held by the Nepal Bar Association (NBA) on the occasion of its golden jubilee started off at the Birendra International Conference Center (BICC), Kathmandu on Wednesday, March 1, 2006 with the theme “Human Rights, Rule of Law and Inclusive Democracy: Resolving Conflict".

“The conference concluded that women, dalits, indigenous people, the madhishe community and backward people should be accommodated in an inclusive and participatory democracy through the restructuring of the state”, says an in-depth story by Siddhi B. Ranjitkar.

* Dalit communities condemn yet another incident of atrocity, call for action against the culprits

Dalit communities of Nepal join Dalit Welfare Organisation (DWO) in strongly condemning the fresh incident of brutal atrocities meted out to Dalit people and their activists in Bungamati village in the outskirts of Kathmandu city.

The incident of brutal atrocity happened recently, when Mrs. Nani Maya Nepali was tortured by so-called high caste people of Bungamati VDC, Ward No-8, Lalitpur for using water from a public well in her neighborhood, this is made public through various news media. In order to understand and make an in-depth study of the incident, and to highlight the atrocity case as inhumane and as a punishable offense by the law, a team of Dalit activists, Media people, National Dalit Commission HMG/N and XMP visited the place of incident on 04th March 2006. Upon their arrival at the place, when they were inquiring about the incident in a peaceful manner, a large group of the so-called high caste villagers attacked Mr. Dinesh Pariyar and Mr. Narendra Biswokarma (representatives of DWO Sahayatra Team), and two local Dalit women Mrs. Nani Maya Nepali and Mrs. Shova Nepali and victimized them physically. All the four victims of this accident have been brutally bitten by more than 200 local people.

The case of a brutal atrocity against Dalits has been reported to District Police Office at Jawalakhel; however there exists a general apathy among authorities towards the case. They are simply delaying all their procedures, and are not taking the case seriously. Even at the end of these 48 hours, there has not been a sign of any of the identified culprits being arrested, though some procedures like taking briefings from the victims and the local women and ex-VDC chief have been taken place.

DWO urges National Human Right Commission, His Majesty's Government Home Ministry, Dalit NGOs, Dalit NGO Federation, Janajati Federation and all the national level stakeholders to make in-depth investigation of this incident, and to take swift actions for punishing the guilty people involved in the atrocity, and provide appropriate compensation and medical treatments to the victims. They also call for solidarity of all the national and international agencies that do believe in human rights and are continuously fighting to protect human rights. [March 06, 2006].

Click here for >>> The press release from Dalit Welfare Organisation (DWO) in Nepali.

Related News: Non-dalits all out against Dalits [The Kathmandu Post, March 06, 2006].

* Canadian discussion panel raises caste discrimination issue as a factor in the crisis of Nepal

Ottawa, Canada- Sunday 19 February 2006: Speaking today at a panel discussion seminar organized in the Canadian capital city Ottawa, Nepal Media and Peace-building Specialist Faruq Faisel, who provided eyewitness account of many events in Nepal including Kings' coup of last February, expressed that unless various socio-economic disparities such as caste system [based discrimination], and top-down approach of government are addressed, ending Maoists conflict alone would not end future crises in Nepal. Dr. Krishnahari Gautam, a rural development specialist from Nepal, was of the opinion that the present crisis in Nepal is due to multiple factors such as caste system, land holding, access to resources, religion, and gender discrimination.

Canada's former Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Flora MacDonald, speaking as the chief guest of the seminar, warned that the current crisis of Nepal is not only a regional but a world problem. She was of the opinion that Nepal is on the verge of failing state and was critical of the [Nepal] government decision for not reciprocating the four- month old Maoists ceasefire. She raised concern about the severe constraints that the ordinary people are facing in their daily activities following the coup by King Gyanendra with the support of the army.

Another speaker, Roger Clark, former Secretary-General of Amnesty International Canada, shared his broad experience in many troubled countries including Nepal. He also agreed that Nepal is a failing state with one of the worst human right situation in the world. Moderator of the event, Richard Harmston, former Executive Director of South Asia Partnership (SAP) Canada expressed great concern in unfolding tragedy in Nepal. He felt that people of Nepal should develop the solution of the Nepal's problems but substantial role has to be played by international community. He maintained that each one of us should take initiative for finding solution for Nepal. We may not be able to see the entire path at once, but we should continue walking, as we know which way to the top of the mountain lies. Participants provided inputs with great enthusiasm and carried out discussions on how best the Government of Canada, Nepalese Diaspora and concerned Canadians can help Nepalese people in current situation.

For more information:
Canada Forum for Nepal Phone: 613-596-6692 Email:
Harmony International, Phone: (613) 321 9469 Email:

* Killing of 14 Dalits untold for 4 years

Fourteen Dalit youths of Jagannath VDC in Bajura in the far western remote hill district of Nepal were lined up and shot dead by Royal Nepalese Army personnel at Kolti airport in Bajura district four years ago, a reports eKantipur.

The Kantipuronline news adds, despite knowledge of the brutal killings, locals of Kolti villagers still fear to speak out on the incident. The youths killed on the charge of being Maoists were unarmed. Locals say those who were killed were not Maoists.

Among those killed were Saddan BK, Seta Sarki, Anga Sarki, Nanababu Sarki, Manrup Sarki, Gagane Sarki, Dhane Luhar, Randip Sarki, Dhaule Sarki, Kaluwa Sarki, Yagge Sarki, Sani Sarki, Ranuwa Sarki and one other dalit youth. For full story >>> eKantipur [February 16, 2006]

* Caste and ethnic discrimination featured in UN Human Rights Commission Report

The report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Nepal, released today features members of Dalit and indigenous nationalities, who continue to be victimized and women members of Dalit communities, who are suffering multiple discriminations.

The relevant excerpt from the report:
“Members of Dalit and indigenous nationalities continue to be harassed and discriminated against. For example, members of the Tharu community have been held in bonded labour (under the so-called kamaiya system) and Dalits in the so-called haliya system. Although the Kamaiyas were officially set free in 2000, their access to housing, to land, education and work continue to be limited. Women members of the Dalit communities suffer multiple discrimination and some groups are victims of forced prostitution. Often women and children from these communities move to the cities for work where they experience sexual abuse and exploitation. In its 2004 concluding observations (see CERD/C/64/CO/5, para.18), the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination recommended the enforcement of laws and programmes put in place to bring an end to the practice and to discrimination against Kamaiyas. Bonded labour systems similar to Kamaiyas nevertheless still exist.”

Advanced Unedited Copy >>> Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights and the activities of her Office, including technical cooperation, in Nepal [February 16, 2006]

* Prachanda interview in BBC News-
Maoists want dalits to be free of exploitation by feudal castes

Some excerpts from his interview:

Nepal should be free from the exploitation of the suppressed castes. The suppressed castes have been exploited by feudal castes. And we want them to be free of that.”, says Prachanda.

“What we are saying is, our future is going to be free from caste, class, regional and gender exploitation.”

“Because of the war, people have suffered.
But if you go and look into the hearts of people in the villages, they don't feel as exploited as they did yesterday. They feel self-respect.
In a village, there is respect even for the poor. And the suppressed feel that they have a new life as human beings. We are building new lives in these villages.
You won't find exploitation and injustice in villages, such as discrimination against dalits. And the practice of "untouchability" has ended.
There is a great feeling that all people are equal. In this way we have been bringing sweeping changes to the villages.” Full Transcripts of the Interview [Monday, 13 February 2006, 02:26 GMT]

* Dalit Activists among thousands of Nepali diaspora for pro-democracy showdown in Delhi

Around 30,000 migrant Nepalese living and working in India congregated in New Delhi to demand an end to autocratic monarchy. Dalit activists among them were CPN-UML's central leader Chhabilal Biswokarma, calling for "much better and do-able" working alliance between the rebels and the mainstream parties to end the "autocratic era", Anil Kumar Bi.Ka., 26, of Sanichaur, Rukum but now a resident of Kolkata in West Bengal, who is repored as saying, "We are here to extend solidarity with the pro-democracy forces back home. We have been forced to leave our homeland. I think only more democracy can end our sufferings.", and Bishnu Bi.Ka., 12, of Arghakhanchi who has never seen a school despite arriving in Delhi with his migrating parents two years ago.Read KantipurOnline report for more

* EC approves three projects worth 1.898 million Euros for Dalits and disadvantaged in Nepal

The European Commission (EC) has approved grants for three projects that are aimed at sustainable development of disadvantaged ethnic communities, improving livelihood security of socially excluded communities, and Dalit empowerment. The EC grants worth Rs 165.146 million signed recently for three new projects were developed and will be implemented jointly by the EC and Nepalese NGOs. Read Details in; Also Details in

* The diverse identities of Nepal today are not looking up to the monarchy for a solution

"The diverse identities of Nepal today are not looking up to the monarchy for a solution. They are instead seeking it in a restructured state where feudalism will be demolished and the social structures democratized. They want a participatory and inclusive democracy where adequate attention is paid to the issues of women, Dalits, the ethnic communities, the Madhesis (people of Terai), the people of remote hills and those of the poor. The king is an obstacle to this agenda — a part of the problem."
For details >>> IRRELEVANCE OF THE KING [The Telegraph, Calcutta, India, Jan 23, 2006].

* Dal Singh Kami Elected in Central Working Committer of Nepali Congress (Democratic)

Dal Singh Kami, a former Member of Parliament (National Assembly) has been elected as a Central Working Committee (CWC) member of Nepali Congress (Democratic) in a special seat reserved by the Party statute as amended in the party’s recent national convention.

The NC (D) has allocated five seats for indigenous communities, women, Dalits and Karnali region in the CWC. As per the amended party statute, one seat each for Dalits and the Karnali region, and two each seats are reserved for indigenous communities and women. The NC (D) is the first national party to reserve a seat in the CWC by its statute. Earlier to NC(D), Chhabilal Bishwakarma was elected to the Central Committee of CPN (UML) as an alternative Central Commitee Member during Seventh National Conference held in B.S. 2059 in Janakpur, after which Man Bahadur Bishwakarma was elected as a Central Committee member of Nepali Congress.[Jan 16, 2005]

* Two Dalits among 14 missing persons detained in Nepal Army Barracks

Buddhiman Sarki of Dolpa and Chhabisara Sunar of Bardia belonging to Dalit community are among 14 detainees found by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of Nepal which announced their names as detainees missing after their arrest by security forces, Jan. 4.

An NHRC team had made a surprise visit to two Royal Nepalese Army (RNA) barracks in Katmandu as part of the Commission's campaign to discover the conditions of missing persons. According to its press conference the team inspected the Mahabir Battalion and the Jagdal Battalion in Chhauni on Tuesday. "The team inspected entire blocks and shanties inside the barracks," the report says. [More on this story, Jan 05, 2006]


DalitWatch 2005: