The Asian Human Rights Commission says inaction by the government of Nepal is leading to the slow death of “the Adhikari couple.”
Nanda Prasad and Ganga Maya Adhikari, known as the Adhikari couple, have been on a fast-unto-death hunger strike for 280 days and counting. The couple are asking for justice, and an investigation into the abduction and murder of their son, Krishna Prasad Adhikari.
Their ultimate aim is the prosecution of those who killed their son, Krishna Prasad Adhikari.
Krishna Prasad Adhikari was abducted and brutally murdered in June 2004 when visiting his grandparents in Chitwan District after his graduation examination. The boy was killed by Maoist cadres after being falsely accused of collaborating with the army after a family and land dispute. The Maoist cadres abducted him from Bakullahar Chowk and he was reportedly beaten up and tortured before being brought back to the crossroad he was abducted from and shot dead.
A local Maoist leader told the boy’s father that his son had been “wiped out.” The family was repeatedly threatened by the perpetrators not to seek justice and they were displaced from their home and land.
A complaint was lodged with the Chitwan police by the boy’s relatives. The names of the suspects were provided at the time.
His relatives lodged providing the names of the suspects. The Asian Human Rights Commission has tried to help obtain justice for the family, vocally and frequently urging the Nepal State to investigate and prosecute the murderers. The State has maintained silence.
Ram Prasad Adhikari, a Maoist party cadre, was arrested, but released under the condition that he should report to the police should he be needed for investigation. After his arrest, the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) announced the picketing of all 75 District Administration Offices to protest his arrest. He was remanded twice into custody by the Chitwan District Court.
The Chitwan District Police Office recommended a jail sentence for Ram Prasad Adhikari and ten other suspects who are all at large, but the attorney office directed the police to release Ram Prasad Adhikari, citing a lack of evidence.
The perpetrators benefited from high level political protection, and still are, today.
The Asian Human Rights Commission says the couple, who have lost everything, are only being kept alive through intravenous protein drip, but as their health deteriorates, their bodies have become weak and thin. Doctors warn that the risk of organ failure in both Nanda Prasad and Ganga Maya, appears to be imminent.
A few days ago, the Human Rights Commission reported “Though they are still alive, the couple does not have any energy left to reply to the few visitors they get these days. They just have a silent look to offer their visitors. They have been through an excruciating ordeal in the past 278 days, and their quest for justice is in danger of becoming an exercise in futility.”
As is usual in such cases, the State just waits for the problem to go away, as the media and civil society loses interest. Even so, the determined Adhikari couple are relentless fighters for justice and will not give up, even though the Nepal State is delaying and denying them justice.
The AHRC asks:
Can there be justice for Nepalis in the absence of the rule of law and given the state of the criminal justice system? The edifice in place is simply an aid to the elite, the powerful, and the politicians. There is good reason why neither the present government nor any political party is supporting the couple and their demands, which is essentially a demand for justice for ordinary citizens.
Nepal’s transitional justice law is a farce. What victims and their families need is justice, which, it appears, the powers that be want to have nothing to do with.