A mother who is on the 25th day of a hunger strike in Kathmandu demanding justice against the murderers of her son during the Maoist conflict is in critical condition, doctors and human rights activists say.
Ganga Maya Adhikari started her latest hunger strike on 21 December 2020 on the 7th floor ward of the Trauma Centre, and has not taken any food or water since. She is receiving intravenous fluids, and her condition has deteriorated.
Her son, Krishna Adhikari was kidnapped, tortured and killed in June 2004 by the Maoists in Chitwan who accused him of being a spy. Those allegedly behind the murder have been set free by the courts.
“Ganga Maya is on strike because she has abandoned any hope for justice from this government, which has insulted her struggle,” said human rights activist Charan Prasai, who was among artists, lawyers, and rights activists at a sit-in outside the hospital on Thursday.
Doctors at the Trauma Centre said Ganga Maya’s health was deteriorating fast, and she needed intensive care because it was now a question of life-or-death.
After the Comprehensive Peace Accord, repeated attempts by Ganga Maya and her husband Nanda Prasad to get justice failed, and the couple came to Kathmandu to protest when former Maoist ideologue Baburam Bhattarai was prime minister in 2012.
Nanda Prasad died seven years ago in Bir Hospital after a year-long fast, and his body is still in the morgue at the Teaching Hospital since Ganga Maya has refused to cremate him until the guilty are punished.
Krishna Adhikari had just finished his SLC exam when a group of Maoists put him in a sack and dragged him behind a motorcycle in Chitwan. After the conflict, the couple lodged a complaint with Chitwan police, naming 13 people who they said were involved.
The 13 were charged, but the Chitwan District Court ordered their release on bail. A year later, the appellate court in Hetauda upheld the bail decision. The Supreme Court then ruled on an appeal by Ganga Maya in 2015 to put Chhabilal Poudel, the main accused, in judicial custody, but when he did not surrender the couple went on another hunger strike until he was re-arrested.
But in 2019, the Chitwan District Court acquitted all the accused except one. Ganga Maya appealed again, but no further hearings have been held.
Doctors attending to Ganga Maya said she had told them that she had no reason to live anymore because she had no hope left for justice, her husband was dead, and her elder son had been jailed on trumped up charges.