A committee comprising families of martyrs, and disappeared and injured people has warned Province 2 government of protests if the government does not ditch its ‘discriminatory’ attitude.
The committee in the south-eastern district of Saptari organized a press conference on June 29 in the district headquarters Rajbiraj to voice its opinion and issue a formal warning of protests in all eight districts of the province if its demands are not met. The following day, the committee submitted a memorandum to the chief minister as well as to the prime minister.
A press release issued by the committee states that martyrs sacrificed their lives for the country and its people, not for any political party, so the government’s discriminatory behavior is an insult to
Committee chairperson Rita Chaudhary accused the provincial government of providing services and facilities only to the victims of the Madhes movements while neglecting families of the martyrs from the decade-long insurgency (1996-2006) and the 2006 people’s movement. She accused the provincial ministry of land management, agriculture and cooperatives of showing discriminatory behavior by providing cows and buffaloes only to the victims of the Madhes movements.
Provincial Minister for Agriculture and Land Management Shailendra Prasad Sah had launched the program last month by handing over a buffalo to Nirmala Raut, the wife of Rajeev Raut who was martyred in the 2015 Madhes movement. The ministry has also started giving each family a one-time sum of Rs 30,000 for the care of the cattle and the maintenance of their sheds.
Kulananda Bishwakarma, a member of a martyr family from Shambhunath municipality, demanded that the government correct its biased behavior and treat the families of all the martyrs and the injured respectfully and impartially.
He claimed that Province 2 government has called for applications only from the families of the martyrs of the Madhes movements for receiving these services, thereby depriving families of other martyrs of the same services.
As many as 20 buffalos were distributed in Maleth on June 30, and 14 buffalos were distributed in Bhardah the following day. Minister Sah informed that in the upcoming fiscal, the provincial government is planning to distribute buffalos to the families of martyrs from the Madhes movements in the districts of Saptari, Siraha, Sarlahi, Mahottari, Dhanusa, Rautahat, Bara and Parsa. Under the program, families that receive buffaloes are not allowed to sell them or give them as gifts for three years.
Minister Sah also informed that as per a decision of the provincial council of ministers, one member each of the families of the martyrs from the Madhes movements would get jobs and that appointment letters have already been handed over to them. The provincial government has also introduced a special scholarship program for the children of the martyrs, he added. Moreover, the provincial government has been providing financial assistance to the families whose members were injured during the