NEARING THE END: Nanda Prasad and Ganga Maya Adhikari on Thursday afternoon on the 50th day of their hunger strike at Bir Hospital, demanding justice for the murder of their son, Krishna, in 2004. They are now refusing intravenous saline.
As they get increasingly frail, Nanda Prasad and Ganga Maya Adhikari, who have been on hunger strike
at Bir Hospital for the past 50 days, can barely speak. The can sense the end is near, but the justice they crave against the killers of their son, Krishna, in June 2004 by the Maoists is still far.
The couple has refused intravenous saline and appears to be resigned to their fate. Their lips are parched and the two haven’t had anything to eat or drink since 24 October. On Tuesday, the National Human Rights Commission raised concern about the couple’s health and urged the government to complete the investigation in Krishna Adhikari’s murder.
During their last fast in July, Home Minister Madhav Ghimire had told the Adhikaris flatly that his government couldn’t apprehend the guilty because the crimes came under the rules of conflict-era violence. However, as their health deteriorated, the state assured them that the murderers would be investigated and the two broke their fast on 8 September in the presence of government officials and human rights activists. The UCPN (Maoist) had opposed the arrest of their cadre and forced a Chitwan closure.
Police arrested Ram Prasad Adhikari, but a Chitwan court later acquitted him for lack of evidence. That is when the Adhikaris went back to hunger strike.
In June 2004, Krishna Adhikari was dragged from his home in Phujel of Gorkha district, taken to Chitwan, and killed by the Maoists after being tortured by being dragged behind a motorcycle in a sack. Nanda Prasad and Ganga Maya spent the past few years going from one government office to another seeking justice. They started a hunger strike outside Baluwatar last year when Baburam Bhattarai was prime minister and the police forcibly threw them into a mental asylum. Later, the Bhattarai government sent police to load the couple into a jeep and deport them back to Gorkha. In March, the NHRC had recommended that the government put the guilty on trial, give compensation to the couple, and ensure they return home safely. But the Bhattarai administration ignored the directive, arguing that this was an insurgency-related case.
According to the complaint the Adhikaris filed at the District Police Headquarter in Chitwan, Januka Poudel and other Maoist cadres are involved in the murder. Poudel was Hisila Yami’s assistant when Bhattarai was prime minister. When the couple came to Kathmandu to seek justice, Bhattarai quashed the investigation.