PICS: KIRAN PANDAY
The council has already declared 22 districts of the Tarai part of the Tharuhat province. "We want our rights, we don't snatch others' rights," Laxman Tharu said. "We will provide Tharu citizenship to non-Tharus too."
The council claims to have formed a Tharuhat army as the government's recent security policy is designed to suppress indigenous communities. But Laxman Tharu adds, 'We will not use weapons unless we're oppressed."
The Tharus are currently organising their first national convention in Dang, where representatives from 22 districts have already arrived. The convention plans to discuss military strategy and a division of governmental duties within Tharuhat.
The District Administration Office in Dang has requested the media not to disseminate news about the Tharuhat convention. Police were deployed at the convention site.