Deuba, Rawal vow to ensure Tharus their rightsIn an attempt to reach out to agitating Tharus, senior Nepali Congress leader Sher Bahadur Deuba and CPN-UML Vice-chair-man Bhim Rawal on Tuesday said they are committed to ensure political rights of the Tharu community.
In an attempt to reach out to agitating Tharus, senior Nepali Congress leader Sher Bahadur Deuba and CPN-UML Vice-chair-man Bhim Rawal on Tuesday said they are committed to ensure political rights of the Tharu community.
Urging Tharu community to exercise restraint ahead of promulgation of new constitution, the two senior leaders of the ruling parties from the Far West said a special region could be created for the Tharu community in a federal structure. Denying allegations that they had overlooked Tharus’ demand for separate province, Deuba and Rawal said they are still in favour of an undivided Far West but assured of ensuring political and cultural rights of the Tharu community by creating special region for Tharu after the constitution promulgation.
The commitments from former Prime Minister Deuba and former Home Minister Rawal come a day after Tuesday violent clash in Tikapur of Kailali district that left at least eight people dead.
During separate press meets held in the presence of Tharu and indigenous leaders representing their respective parties, the two leaders blamed inflammatory remarks from the Maoist and Madhesi leader for Monday’s clash.
Dismissing suggestions that he had taken stance to curtail rights of ethnic Tharus, Deuba came down heavily against senior Maoist leader and head of the Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee Baburam Bhattarai for “cheap remarks” he hurled at the NC leader before the Kailali incident. Bhattarai had accused Deuba was against creating a separate province.
“I am the one who fought for the welfare of Tharu and Far West people. I constructed 22 bridges to connect the region with Kathmandu and liberated Kamaiyas,” Deuba argued. “How can I be anti-Tharu leader?”
Reiterating his stance against the split of Kailali, Deuba insisted that he is always open to ensuring political, cultural and traditional rights for the Tharu community. “We can ensure all political and cultural rights together with special rights while joining government services in new system,” said Deuba.
Rawal said he is always with the Tharu community in terms of ensuring their rights in the new constitution, but urged them not to follow provocative remarks from other parties. Both the leaders charged the Maoist and Madhesi leaders with shattering the long-prevailed communal harmony between Tharus and people from other communities.
“We are ready to fight for political and cultural rights of Tharu community. But it is not necessary to follow provocative remarks of those leaders who do not relate with you,” said Rawal, referring to some Madhes-based leaders’ remarks in Kailali last week.
The major political parties have included Kailali, which has a large number of Tharu population, in the Province 7 (Far West) against the Tharus’ demand for a separate province by including Banke, Bardiya, Kanchanpur and Dang—the districts that have a strong Tharu presence.
Refuting claims that he was involved in a bid to stop creating a separate Tharu province, the UML leader, however, said it was not possible to create a separate province for each cast and community in a multi-cast country like Nepal. “I am in favour of keeping the far-western region intact. Nobody is against splitting Kailali from the Far West,” Rawal added.
Sixteen UML lawmakers representing Far-western region have drawn government’s attention to investigate into the incident, book accused to justice and provide compensation to victims.