Incident Reports

Jajarkot inter-caste couple forced to leave home


Karnali, Jajarkot, Junichande

It has already been four months since Ganesh Chadara Sunar and Jyoti Shah of Garkhakot-3 of Jajarot district have been living a “refugee” life in the district headquarters Khalanga. The couple were thrown out of the community on November 9 after they concluded their years-old affair into a marriage just two weeks ago. The bride’s family did not accept them as they belonged to different castes. The couple informed that they shifted to Khalanga after Shah’s community physically attacked them time and again. Sunar said the locals even threatened to kill him if he returned to the village. Not only the couple, but Sunar’s whole family – including his father Kamaro, sister Yamuna, brothers Rajesh and Nishchal and sister-in-law Kalpana – were forced to leave the village. Kamaro said they could not return to the village in the present situation risking life. He also urged government authorities, political parties, human rights activists and journalists to help them live in safety. There are many other people in the district who share Sunar family’s story. Dilli Bahadur Bohara from Jiri, Nayakbada-2 of the district had married Kamala Sunar some years ago. As soon as he married, he was barred from his house. What more – his mother threatened in front of police that she never allows a Dalit’s daughter to her house. Ganesh and Jyoti had tied the conjugal knot five years ago. But, Jyoti’s father Uttam Kumar forced his daughter to return to the house. He even married her off with another man. She, however, returned to the parents’ house again after the husband left the house for a foreign employment. Living with parents, she was waiting for an appropriate opportunity to elope with her old beau. Now, she has severed all ties with her parents. “I don’t care a damn about castes,” she said, “My love with Ganesh is from the childhood and I cannot leave him.” However, kin of her parents did not spare him. She claimed even some Maoist cadres in the village were also involved in attacks against them. District Police Office chief DSP Dan Bahadur Malla said police have been guarding the couple realising their security challenges. He also added that police were trying to help them return to the village.