30 June 2021
Let’s commence unified initiative to end
INSEC expresses its serious concern over the incident detail of caste based discrimination shared by victim Rupa Sunar through her social media. She shared that she has faced caste based discrimination during the matter of a house rent in Kathmandu Metropolitan City -11, Babarmahal. A complaint was lodged at the Metropolitan Police Circle Singha Durbar on June 16 in the allegation to the house owner, Saraswati Pradhan, for exercising caste based discrimination and not providing the room on rent after inquiring about her caste.
Nepal Police had released Saraswati Pradhan, arrested accused who refused to provide room on rent in her house on the basis of caste, on June 19 after the district office of the public prosecutors procedure. According to Nepal Police, they have submitted the case investigation report to the District Public Prosecutor’s Office and reverted the case file back with the information of not enough evidence for further legal procedure.
The inability and weak attempt to ensure the transparent process in the legal efforts made with the hope of justice can be suspected as deterioration to the principle of rule of law and social justice. In this process, the direct presence and involvement of the Minister for Education, Science and Technology of the Government of Nepal, Krishna Gopal Shrestha, with the accused of the incident has brought serious doubt.
We felt the interference of Federal Government Minister Krishna Gopal Shrestha towards the prosecution and assurance of justice because of his presence in the office of law enforcement agency to favor of the accused which is contrary to the responsibility of upholding the rule of law, constitutional supremacy, human rights and social justice. After the police released the accused, the minister took her in the government vehicle, which created the impression that the state representatives are protecting the accused in such cases of discrimination. INSEC has been conducting campaigns against all forms of discrimination, exploitation and injustice in Nepal since its establishment. The Constitution of Nepal calls to end all forms of caste based discrimination and discrimination against Dalits. It has made such acts of discrimination is punishable.
INSEC has concluded that the federal minister’s presence to protect the accused of the incident prohibited by the Constitution of Nepal and laws has violated the accountability towards constitution and the prevailing law of Nepal. INSEC urge its concerns to the government of Nepal to ensure the rule of law, social justice and protection of human rights against discrimination of this nature. We also ask to demonstrate the responsibility towards the constitution and prevailing laws. INSEC has warned the involved official for ensuring their accountability of governance towards the constitution and the prevailing law. Caste-based discrimination is an act against humanity. It transforms society towards animosity and intolerance. INSEC strongly urges that advocacy, protection and campaigning in favor of such illegal acts create an environment unfavorable to overall human development and human rights. INSEC hearty appeals for the formation and implementation of legal and policy measures, and facilitate a social campaign against discrimination.
Dr Indira Shrestha