The Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC), a human rights group, has said the death of Manbire Sunar, a Dalit from Kalikot, had died in a drunken brawl and that there was very little proof of any caste sentiment behind the murder.
Releasing its study report in Nepalgunj Friday, INSEC said Sunar had a quarrel with UCPN (Maoist) district committee member Min Bahadur Shahi and area in-charge Dip Bahadur Shahi when they were drinking alcohol in a hotel in Jubitha, Kalikot, three weeks ago.
INSEC mid-western region coordinator Bhola Mahat told media persons that the quarrel started during the drinking session but the reason behind it was not caste or Sunar’s entry into the kitchen of the hotel run by a 'upper caste’ person. However, Min Bahadur and Dip Bahadur have admitted to have beaten the Dalit man.
INSEC report also said that both Min Bahadur and Dip Bahadur had personal contacts with Sunar for a long time and that the three used to go to each other’s house. They did not have any enmity previously and that there were no strong caste sentiments.
The death of the Dalit man has angered the Dalit organisations and Dalit political leaders. Dalit lawmakers had obstructed successive parliamentary proceedings in protest against the murder.
They agreed to allow the House to resume normal business from Thursday after Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai promised to start process to elevate the deceased to the status of a martyr. The government has also announced Rs 1 million relief aid to Manbire’s family. nepalnews.com