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Tikapur finding

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017
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From the Nepali Press

Kantipur daily, 22 January

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A policeman holds out the charred vest of Ram Bihari Chaudhary who was burnt alive by protesters in Tikapur, Kailali on 25 August 2015. File photo: Bachu BK

A parliamentary probe panel has found four politicians guilty of inciting activists to violence in the Tikapur lynching in 2015, which was followed by widespread violence across the Tarai.

On 25 August 2015, protesters demanding an autonomous Tharuhat state lynched eight policemen including a senior officer, and shot a child dead.

However, the reporter has been kept under wraps because of the fear of a violent backlash in the Madhes.

Addressing a mass rally organised by the Tharuhat Struggle Committee (TSC), Nepali Congress MP Amresh Kumar Singh, Federal Social Forum Nepal (FSFN) Chair Upendra Yadav, Sadbhavna Party Chair Rajendra Mahato and Maoist leader Deb Gurung had delivered inflammatory speeches inciting local Tharus to drive out hill settlers from their land.

The probe panel formed by the State Affairs Committee of Parliament has concluded that the Tikapur lynching was a result of inflammatory speeches by these four leaders.

The panel, headed by Congress MP Sanjaya Kumar Gautam, has written in its report that the Tikapur speeches were ‘irresponsible’ and ‘condemnable’. The panel has recommended legal actions against them.

The panel has found out that Tharuhat protesters were paid Rs 1,000 each to join the rally, and threatened to fine each household Rs 500 if they did not show up. A week earlier, Madhesi parties had declared that they, once in power, would pay Rs 5 million to the family of each protester killed during anti-government demonstrations, and free education and employment for their children and family members. The report says the announcement also contributed to the Tikapur violence.

Based on the report, the parliamentary committee could direct the government to take action against the accused in the Tikarpur lynching. But the report has not been submitted, and sources say the probe panel is rewriting the report to tone down its content.

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