The First English news portal of Sudurpaschim Province

Thursday, September 23, 2021

The First English news portal of Sudurpaschim Province

नेपाली

When will untouchability and caste discrimination end?

Caste Discrimination and Untouchability (Crime and Punishment) Act, 2068

Ten years after the enactment of the Caste Discrimination and Untouchability (Crime and Punishment) Act, 2068 BS, the incidence of untouchability has not decreased.

Dalits are not allowed to enter not only the houses of the people but also in the temples.

They are not allowed to drink water in public taps and even the milk of cows & buffaloes raised by them is excluded from the market. According to a study conducted by the United Nations Office in Nepal, 97 percent said that there was caste discrimination in their community and 74 percent said that Dalits were not allowed to enter the kitchens of non-Dalits.

According to the report, 54% in Karnali and Farwest and 46% in State 2 do not allow Dalits to enter their homes. Couples who have inter-caste marriages have not been allowed to live in the community-village, have been forcibly separated and given corporal punishment and some have even been killed.

Dozens of Dalit settlements have been displaced due to untouchability incidents. Dalit rights activists have complained that even after nine years of implementation of the Act, the administrative body has been showing ignorance about the Act, no action has been taken against the perpetrators of untouchability and efforts have been made to prevent untouchability from reaching the legal level.

The Act was passed unanimously by a meeting of the Legislature-Parliament held on May 24, 2011, during the government led by former Prime Minister Jhalnath Khanal. In sub-sections 2 (a) and (b) of section 4 of the Act, if any person acts in accordance with that section on the basis of custom, tradition, religion, culture, caste, descent, community, or profession, he/she shall be deemed to have committed caste discrimination and untouchability and according to sub-section 1(a) of Article 7, they will be charged imprisonment for three months to three years or a fine of Rs.1,000 to Rs.25,000 or both.

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