Government agrees to take initiatives for the release of Resham Chaudhary and other Tharu leadersThey had been convicted for their involvement in the 2015 Tikapur riots in which nine died. The release has been a long-standing demand of the Janata Samajbadi Party which is in talks to join the government.
The government has agreed to take initiatives through constitutional and legal means to withdraw all cases against Tharu leaders, including Resham Chaudhary, involved in the 2015 Tikapur incident and release them.
Chaudhary, who was elected to Parliament from Kailali in the 2017 elections, is currently serving life imprisonment at Dillibazar Prison on charges of masterminding the 2015 Tikapur violence in which nine people were killed.
Signing a six-point agreement with Tharu Welfare Society and Tharuhat/Tharuwan Joint Struggle Committee on Tuesday, the government has agreed to withdraw cases against leaders including Dhaniram Chaudhary and Laxman Chaudhary who were also convicted in the Tikapur incident.
“We signed the agreement today and the process of their release will begin from tomorrow,” said Rukmini Chaudhary, coordinator of the talks team formed by Tharu Welfare Society and Tharuhat/Tharuwan Joint Struggle Committee following the agreement. “We will now present documents and details of our 58 leaders in a legal format to begin the process of their release.”
On behalf of the Tharu groups, a five-member talks team led by former lawmaker Rukmini Chaudhary has been holding talks with the government. The talks team has Premilal Chaudhary, Padma Narayan Chaudhary, Prabhat Chaudhary and Chandra Prasad Chaudhary as members.
The agreement has come at a time when the government is preparing to induct around 10 members of the Mahantha Thakur-led faction of the Janata Samajbadi Party into the Cabinet.
The KP Sharma Oli government has been agreeing to address the Janata Samajbadi Party ’s demands including withdrawing cases against their leaders and cadres for their involvement in the Tarai protests in 2015-16 against the new constitution.
Last month the Citizenship Act was amended through an ordinance as per the demand of the party.
The release of Resham Chaudhary is one of the main demands of the Janata Samajbadi Party.
But the conflict within Thakur’s party has escalated with the other chair of the party Upendra Yadav, deciding on Tuesday to expel four leaders from the party including Thakur, Rajendra Mahato, Laxman Lal Karna and Sarbendra Nath Shukla as they decided to join the government despite the party’s decision not to.
The government has also agreed to amend the constitution as per the party’s demand. A government talks team led by Law Minister Lilanath Shrestha with Rajan Bhattarai, an aide to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and UML Central Committee member Bhagawati Chaudhary as members has been holding talks with the party to discuss its demands.
The government talks team was earlier led by Ram Bahadur Thapa who until May 20 was home minister in the Oli Cabinet.