LAHURNIP strongly condemns brutal police suppression in ongoing protests of Kamalaris

Lawyers’ Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP) condemns, in strongest terms, the blatant and brutal police suppression in the ongoing peaceful protests of Kamalaris in different parts of Nepal.

On Sunday, the sixth day of protests of Kamalaris in Kathmandu, at least 14 Kamalaris were injured when large number of male police personnel inhumanely attacked the Kamalari girls with their fists, boots and batons who were on their way to picketing Singha Durbar, the administrative center of Nepal. Off them, nine were seriously injured and three are in critical conditions and reportedly still remain unconscious. According to the received information, some injured are unable to talk while some have bleeding from their private parts as a result of attacks to their chests and lower abdomen.

Further, the force led by Inspector Nishan Thapa and Sub-Inspector Prem Yadav allegedly abused and snatched away cash and jewelries of those Kamalaris while 39 Kamalaris are still under arrest since Sunday.

Police also intervened with excessive force in the protests of Kamalaris in Dang in western Nepal on Monday. Dang district police led by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Arun Kumar Shah has reportedly taken about 50 Kamalaris under control from their peaceful demonstrations. In the course, three Kamalaris lost consciousness and the police took one of them under control in unconscious stage. The other two, along with the other injured, are undergoing treatment at the Sub-regional Hospital in Ghorahi.

The Kamalaris have been calling for strict punishment for those responsible for the killing of a 12-year old Kamalari Srijana Chaudhary of Dang in Lalitpur in March along with other demands of declaration of their emancipation and guarantee of their rights. They have been staging sit-ins and other protest programmes in various western districts – hundreds of them in Dang and scores of them had been staging sit-in Kathmandu for past six days.

LAHURNIP calls on the Government to stop such brutal violence in the protests of Kamalaris and take responsibilities for treatment of those injured. It also urges the Government to take actions against those police personnel responsible for suppression on peaceful protests of Kamalaris.

LAHURNIP conveys its grave concerns regarding the existing practices of Kamalari in Nepal whereby indigenous Tharu girls are sold off and kept for domestic servitude and other purposes, treated inhumanely and even killed or led to killthemselves. It expresses solidarity with the protests of the Kamalaris and appeals the Government to address legitimate demands of the Kamalaris.

LAHURNIP further urges national and international human rights organizations to raise their concerns against this action.

Advocate Shankar Limbu