Home Minister-led talks team formed to address demands of Tharuhat movementThe list of demands includes the release of Resham Chaudhary, convicted for masterminding the 2015 Tikapur incident in which nine people were killed.
The government has formed a three-member talks team under the coordination of Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa to address the demands of the Tharuhat movement.
Government spokesperson and Minister for Information and Technology Parbat Gurung, during a press briefing held at the ministry on Monday, said that a team led by Thapa has been formed to address the 19-point demands put forth by the Tharu Welfare Council and Tharuhat-Tharuwan Movement Joint Mobilisation Committee.
The other members of the talks team are Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s foreign affairs advisor Rajan Bhattarai and former lawmaker Bhagwati Chaudhary.
Earlier on Friday, a meeting of the families of convicts and other accused of the Tikapur incident held under the chairmanship of Tharuwan/Tharuhat Rashtriya Morcha’s coordinator Laxman Tharu had formed a team to hold talks with the government regarding the 2015 Tikapur incident.
In August 2015, following the government’s decision to put Kailali district in one province along with seven other hill districts, Tharus of Kailali opposed the decision and took to the streets.
The protest, largely branded the Tharuhat movement, led by Resham Chaudhary in Kailali was part of a larger movement that was going on for months in several Tarai districts against what they called Kathmandu’s conspiracy to discriminate against a large section of the Tharu, Madhesi and Janajati population.
As the Tharuhat protest continued, the local administration in Kailali issued a prohibitory order. On August 24, 2015, the Tharuhat group called for breaching the prohibitory orders. Protesters and police clashed, and nine people, including a senior police official and a child, were killed.
Organising a press meet at Hasuliya in Kailali district on Friday, Laxman Tharu, the central coordinator of the front, said that a six-member talks team led by Resham Chaudhary, who is serving his term in Dilli Bazaar Prison in Kathmandu.
Other members of the team are Laxman Tharu, Ram Prasad Tharu, Chuniram Tharu, Bina Chaudhary and Yamuna Chaudhary. All of them are convicted by the court in connection with the Tikapur incident.
Freeing Resham Chaudhary is one of the demands of the Janata Samajbadi Party as well. The Oli government lately has been trying to seek Janata Samajbadi Party’s support in the wake of fast-paced political developments.
After the Supreme Court on March 7 scrapped the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and revived the CPN-UML and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), Oli could slide into a minority government whenever the Maoist Centre withdraws support.
In that case, Oli can remain in power only if it gets the support of the Nepali Congress or the Janata Samajbadi Party. With the Congress not showing interest in supporting, Oli has looked to the Janata Samajbadi Party.
The Janata Samajbadi Party, however, has put forth a set of preconditions for it to support Oli and one of them is freeing Resham Chaudhary.
The Janata Samajbadi Party was formed in April last year after the merger between Sanghiya Samajbadi Party and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal.
Resham Chaudhary had won the 2017 elections from Kailali Constituency-1 on the Rastriya Janata Party ticket.