Dalit leaders’ fast-unto-death strike enters fourth day

Dalit leaders’ fast-unto-death strike enters fourth day

September 02, 2020

The fast-unto-death launched by leaders of the Dalit community over the alleged ‘murder’ of a Dalit youth in police custody has entered the fourth day today in Rautahat.

In connection with the August 15 murder of Niranjan Ram, 20, of Garuda Municipality, police from Garuda Area Police Office had taken seven persons, including Bijaya Ram Chamar, in custody for investigation.

However, on August 26, Bijaya died in the course of treatment at National Medical College of Birgunj.

Dalit leaders accused the police of murdering the youth in custody by meting out physical torture.

This prompted the Dalit community to stage protest against police high-handedness.

The agitating Dalit community led by the Niranjan Ram and Bijaya Ram Struggle Committee have been organising various protest programmes from the day after Bijaya’s death.

Under the leadership of Bahujan Shakti Party central Chairperson and former minister Bisendra Paswan, four persons including Sonalal Paswan and Ramprit Paswan, have been staging a fast-unto-death from Saturday.

“We won’t end the hunger strike until the central government suspends and takes action against SP Rabiraj Khadka, DSP Gyan Kumar Mahato, along with the inspectors, ASIs and head constables involved in torturing the innocent youth to death,” said the former minister.

“Similarly, we need martyrs status for both Niranjan and Bijaya, compensation to the families and job guarantee to at least one person from these families,” he added.

Meanwhile, though post-mortem on Bijaya’s body was conducted in TU Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu on Friday itself, the kin of the deceased have refused to receive the body so far. The agitators have vowed not to receive the body until their demands are met.

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