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Getting away with murder

Sunday, August 30th, 2015
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A girl shows the room where SSP Laxman Neupane had hidden himself before being dragged out and lynched to death. Photo: Bachu BK

From the Nepali Press

Post Bahadur Basnet in www.setopati.com , 27 August

After protesters demanding a Tharuhat province murdered eight policemen and a child in Tikapur this week, a ‘progressive’ commentator tweeted that it was ‘an outburst of the long-suppressed anger of the Tharus’.

It is like saying that a husband who murdered his wife may have his reasons for doing so: ‘he would not have killed her if she had not cheated on him’.

This section of the intelligentsia that regards itself as ‘progressive’ argues that social injustice is the root cause of most violence. They believe that the oppressed cross a threshold where they can’t take injustice anymore and rise up.

So when Tharuhat protesters massacred police and a child in Tikapur, the ‘progressives’ heaved a sigh of relief. It was dramatic proof of the proletariat striking back. They argued that the murders finally woke up the state, and argued that constitution-drafting should be suspended to address the people’s aspirations for ethnicity-based states.

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A home-made weapon used by protesters to kill policemen. Photo: Bachu BK

The ‘progressive’ intelligentsia has justified violence as a means for the liberation of the oppressed ever since the Maoists waged what they dubbed as a ‘people’s war’. They said it was a just uprising against the structural violence of the state. The only way to end the conflict, they said was to fulfill their demands.

These intellectuals ended up becoming unofficial spokespersons of the Maoists. Not only did they justify violence, but they also proved that its relevance was not over as yet. Since these commentators appear in a Gandhian garb, their justification for Maoist violence carried more weight.

After the 2006 Democracy Movement nearly all civil society leaders, not just the ‘politically correct’ ones, became ‘revolutionaries’ overnight. They shed their neutrality and independence by moving beyond mediating, the radicals proceeded to radicalise society and convince the public that an equal society could only be forged through a violent uprising.

Society therefore began to believe that political violence was ok. The end justified the means. Such crimes would not be subject to the criminal justice system. After the war, some civil society leaders stood by army generals and officers charged with illegal detention and extra-judicial killings while other progressive intellectuals defended Maoist leaders facing charges of violation of human rights.

Some intellectuals even warned that punishing Maoist leaders or army generals for war crimes would jeopardise the peace process. The fact that not a singe general, Maoist leader or ministers in government ever had to face up to wartime atrocities encouraged impunity. This could be why Netra Bikarm Chanda is itching to start another war.

As violent protests erupt in the western plains, Bijaya Gachhadar finds it increasingly more difficult to stick to the agreement he signed. The Maoists are also under pressure from the extremists in their ranks. After going along with the NC-UML they now say that denying a Tharuhat province would be catastrophic.

What will happen if Kailali district with its mixed population of Tharus, Bahuns and Chhetris is placed in the Far West Province and not in Province 5 which stretches from Nawalparasi to Bardia, and which the Tharus consider their homeland?

Even if Kailali becomes part of a future Tharuhat Province, Bahuns and Chhetris will not lose anything. And if Kailali becomes part of the Far West province, the Tharus will lose nothing. They will still all be equal citizens of Nepal. Yet, the leaders of neither communities want to compromise.

NC leader Sher Bahadur Deuba is stoking the fire by insisting that not a single village of Kailali, let alone the whole district, can be separated from his Far West province. Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai is pouring oil on the fire by saying that Kailali is the soul of the Tharuhat province and putting it in the Far West Province would be like “beheading the Tharus”.

The demands for the undivided Far West and the Tharuhat province are both offshoots of a radical interpretation of federalism, and Deuba and Bhattarai are trapped by their own rhetoric.Federalism in Nepal is nothing but an experiment in devolution, democracy and governance. It might work, or it might not. But it was cunningly linked with ‘ethnic liberation’ in our mixed society — people were made to believe that federalism would be panacea to their all problems. And any means, including murder, could be employed to attain it. In this state of impunity, political violence will continue, and tragedies like Tikapur will keep happening.

And our ‘progressives’ will keep finding excuses, saying it was just the justifiable anger of the oppressed. Even the murder of a two-year-old child can be justified.

To read the original article in Nepali, click here:

Also read:

Ground zero in Kailali, Om Astha Rai

A day after

Planning to kill

 

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3 Responses to “Getting away with murder”

  1. Anjani Tharu on Says:

    Why almost all newspapers are reporting that 2 years child was killed by Tharu protesters. Where is the postmortem report about his death? As some Tharu activists have said, he was killed by bullet then he should be killed by police firing, not by Tharu protesters, who did not have guns. There should be independent investigation, but before it is published, it is pure speculation and intent to put blame on Tharu community.
    And why you forget to mention other factors that led this tragic incident, which are:
    (1) Why police did not stop Akhand protesters, who were equipped with Khukuri and swords, and there were already clashes occurring between these two groups.
    (2) If police did not stop them then why they were hellbent on stopping Tharu protesters, and certainly police started firing which led to this incident. As there are reports that police did not fire on protesters, then how come there are many bullet wounded people from Tharu, some are even arrested from hospital while they were being treated for bullet wounds.
    (3) After incident, why police were looking aside while from their community, people were busy torching Tharu people homes and business under curfew. What does this clearly proof that they are not so called security forces in true sense; but they are there to preserve and protect certain community peoples’ occupation.
    (4) By the way, what is the credibility of Nepalese police force and army among Nepalese people? They are highly skilled at making innocent people disappear from earth since Panchayat period and recently during Moist insurgency.
    (5) Where in the world have anyone heard that protesters plan on killing by organizing protest? This is complete bullshit fabricated by police and supporters of Akhand protesters. If Tharu were planning to kill police then they would not attack in broad day light, they would have done it at night in darkness with guns. Anyone can Google and search such incidents happened in many countries. In all incident, first police fire on protesters or tussle between police and protesters turn into violent clashes, and that is what has happened.
    (6) And why were the police force almost all comprised of Bahun and Chetri? If even 20-25 percent police were comprised of other ethnic groups then certainly this would not had happened. And because police force and army are mostly comprised of these same two groups, there is no trust in them, and Tharu are protesting for this very same reason.

    Hope this can shed some lights on factors that led to this tragic incident, which could have been prevented.

  2. kg on Says:

    Kathmandu media made it look like a violence in Tikapur was solely due to dissatisfaction of a certain group. They fail to look into the root cause of the problem. The women and men of this community was molested to the extreme level by security forces to become rebels. Their misery compounded with humiliation led to what should not have happened.

    Creating false conspiracy theories and hiding truth will only lead to more mistrust. Have a balance report. Any action results when two parties are equally involved.

  3. namah on Says:

    @kg: and federalism will NOT solve state abusing its citizens. it will just localize the problem. what we need is accountable governance.

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