Ganga Maya Adhikari has sat for yet another fast-unto-death strike at the bed of the Bir Hospital, the oldest government hospital of the country, seeking justice for the murder of her teenage son Krishna Prasad Adhikari for about one and half months. Several attempts except from the government’s side are underway to break her hunger strike. But she has been denying doing so insisting that she will not eat anything until she gets justice. I will not break my fast-unto-death until my demands are addressed because I don’t care for my life but justice for murder of my son and I am using the last option to continue the hunger strike as I have not seen any hope to get the justice even though many people had sympathized me, she used to say to those who used to approach her with the urge to break the strike. As her health condition is deteriorating gradually, it is being feared that she would face the same fate of her husband, Nanda Prasad Adhikari, who had lost is life after 329 days of the hunger strike on September 22, 2014. Nanda Prasad, who had sat for the hunger strike with his spouse Ganga Maya, had died at the same hospital at age 52 after refusing intravenous nutrients and medicines. His frozen body has been lying for three years inside the morgue at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu.
The Adhikari couple, a permanent residence of Phujel, Gorkha, had begun their hunger strike since January 2013 from the main entrance gate of the Prime Minister’s official residence in Baluwatar demanding justice after their son was brutally murdered by the Maoist cadres during the Maoist insurgency on June 6, 2004. As their plea for the justice was not listened from anywhere, they had started their second hunger strike the following month and ended it on the 47th day following an agreement with the government to take action against culprits including alleged mastermind Chhabi Lal Paudel. Though there was circumstantial evidence of Poudel’s involvement in the murder, he was released even notwithstanding the Supreme Court (SC)’s order to the Nepal police to put him in judicial custody until the final verdict. Not only the Adhikari family but also the police investigations are pointing finger to the neighboring Poudel for the abduction, torture and murder of Krishna Prasad. The murder of Krishna Prasad was itself an amazing incident as the Maoists had alleged the innocent 17 year old young boy as spy. As of the police investigation, it is likely that hostile relationship between the Adhikari and Poudel family was the only reason behind the murder of Krishna Prasad.
After the death of the Nanda Prasad during the hunger strike, Ganga Maya was fed forcefully with false premises fearing that she would face same fate if she was not fed immediately. But justice is not delivered even after the death of her husband. As Ganga Maya lost all her hopes to get justice, she used to say now that the government should have let her die with her husband instead of feeding forcibly with false promises. It has been nearly 15 years since her son was killed and about three years since her husband died during the course of seeking justice. But justice is still elusive in this long drawn out case. Not only the Ganga Maya but thousands of other conflict victims have also lost their hopes for justice. The government has extended the tenure of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) by one more year. But the rays of hopes to get justice are not being reflected yet. Thousands of conflict victims will not be able to get justice from the existing transitional justice mechanism because the government seems to have intended to prove everything from the politics. It is also likely that the transitional justice body will not be able even to complete its mandate even in the extended period, thanks to the apathy shown from the government’s side. We have nothing to say to the incumbent government but a matter to remind here is that crime is a crime, which should not be tried to justify politically.