How do you view the increasing number of killings and violence against Dalits in Province 2?
A series of killings of Dalits has increased across the country, including in Province 2. We have been raising our voice against the killings, violence and rape of Dalits. Especially in State 2, a few more Dalits have been killed during the lockdown. The province government and the police administration do not seem to be taking the necessary legal action. Some Dalits have been killed in police custody. The federal government has not been able to take any concrete steps to address the incidents of killing, violence and rape against Dalits. After all, the police administration is under the control of the federal government. The state government cannot be blamed for this. Because the state government does not have its own administration, CDO, SP, it is not able to do anything. Murder violence has reached a climax due to the negligence of the federal government.
In Province 2, the population of Dalits is seen as decisive, but when there is an incident of murder and violence, only Dalits raise their voice for justice, but why don’t non-Dalits speak openly?
This is an ironic situation. In Province 2, 18 percent of the population is Dalit. The state government should raise the issue of getting rights and justice with sensitivity even though it is in the majority in state 2. For the majority of Dalits, it would have been better if non-Dalits had also raised their voices. The Janata Samajwadi Party was formed against all forms of discrimination. It seems that the government of Province 2, including the top leaders of this party, should move forward with sensitivity. If not only Dalits but also non-Dalits had raised their voices, this would have ensured their rights.
The state of peace and security in Province 2 is very weak. But the state government does not seem to have taken concrete steps against it, does it?
The entire responsibility for peace and security is still with the federal government. All the security agencies including CDO, Armed Police Force and Police are under the federal government. The federal government has to take responsibility for maintaining peace and security. There is no body under the state government. The state government has been set up only as a unit. The state government formed the Public Service Commission, introduced the Police Act, but the federal government has to make laws on the issue of police recruitment. But now the federal government has not been able to make an act and hand it over. The state government has also filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court against it. The state government is adamant on recruiting its own police.
The state government has also brought the Dalit Empowerment Act, but what has been the result?
The Dalit Empowerment Act was passed by the state assembly of Province 2 a year ago. After it was passed, the state government sent it to the federal government for publication in the Gazette. He was detained there for six months, but now he has come to the state after being certified by the President. At present, a high-level Dalit Monitoring Committee has been formed, chaired by the Chief Minister. Its members include the DIG and the Home Minister. Now the process of Dalit Commission or Dalit Development Committee will start soon in the state. Now there is a body in the state to look into the incidents of killing and violence of Dalits.
After the formation of Dalit Commission or Dalit Development Committee, will the killings and violence taking place in Province 2 be controlled?
Of course, after the formation of Dalit Commission or Development Committee, the incidence of murder and violence in the state will be reduced. No change is like a magic wand. But we believe that once a body is formed under the Dalit Empowerment Act as a part of the government, it will reduce such incidents.
The Dialogue Suggestion Commission submitted its report on the naming of the two provinces and the formation of the capital, but the provinces could not decide on the nomination or the capital on the basis of that. So the question arose as to the justification of that commission?
A Dialogue Suggestion Commission was formed to collect suggestions about the naming of the states and the capital, of which I was also a member. We went to eight districts and collected suggestions from people of different levels, castes and classes. About 80 percent of the people suggested that the name of this state should be Madhesh Pradesh. But the game was played in such a way as not to respect the report that the ruling party, the then Rajpa and the Forum did not get enough votes. Due to which the report was not implemented. The government of Province 2 is involved in the issue of naming and determining the capital.
Isn’t the justification of the dialogue suggestion commission confirmed?
The province government had formed a dialogue suggestion commission to understand the sentiments of the people of the state. Unlike other provinces, the government of Province 2 does not want to be arbitrary on the issue of naming and capital. The state government had sought the views and opinions of all the people in this regard. The conspiracy to prevent it from being implemented was carried out by the opposition parties which did not appreciate the suggestions of the people. The state government is making efforts to implement the report we have given on the issue of capital and naming. We are confident that the nomination and capital will be decided on the basis of the report of the Dialogue Suggestion Commission.
Lately, Nepal-India relations have been strained, but now there are high-level visits. Do these visits erase the bitterness seen in the relationship?
Nepal-India relations are mythical. This relationship is not made by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Narendra Modi. This is the relationship between the citizens of both the countries. The relationship between the citizens of the two countries is cultural, economic, religious, political and thousands of years old. The Prime Minister of any country cannot break such a relationship even if he wants to. We have interacted with the citizens of the border areas many times. When the government of Nepal issued a new map including Kalapani, Lipulek and Limpiyadhura, there was a bit of bitterness in the relationship. But now diplomatic visits are being made to re-establish ties, which will further strengthen and balance the deep ties between the two countries. The welfare of both the countries will be restored only when the mythical relations between Nepal and India are brought back to full rhythm. The current situation of closure at the border should be reopened by the government. The relationship between the citizens of the border areas is being affected due to the border closures. The daily routine and daily life of the people in the border areas is becoming difficult. In order to make it loose and easy, the governments of both the countries should open the border with consideration and move freely.
Will Nepal-India relations return to normal?
Of course, the dissatisfaction through dialogue and dialogue must be removed and the relationship must be restored. India also seems ready for talks. Whenever the Indian government wants the best for Nepal, it is looking at it positively. India’s policy towards Nepal has always been positive. Nepal also has a positive attitude towards India.