IDSN members and affiliates in Nepal are raising awareness and demanding justice in a case of caste-based murder in the country that is still under Covid-19 lockdown.

What started as a love story between two young people in Nepal ended in tragedy. The young man was a low caste Dalit and the woman was from a dominant caste group. It is alleged that the woman’s family did not approve of the relationship due to the man being a Dalit. As the couple wished to elope, the young man and several of his friends were attacked, beaten and chased into a river where three of them died, and another three are still missing ,according to news reports.

Attacks and killings over inter-caste love or marriages are not uncommon in caste-affected countries where entrenched discrimination on the basis of caste and notions of untouchability still continue to dominate key aspects of life and love. While the practice is outlawed and caste discrimination is punishable by law, implementation of the laws are lacking and there are massive obstacles to accessing justice for Dalit victims.

The Dalit NGO Federation and 25 of their members as well as the Nepal Dalit National Social Welfare Organisation (NNDSWO), Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO), Dalit Welfare Organisation (DWO), Jagaran Media Centre (JMC), Samata Foundation and others, have released press statements and are advocating for immediate action from the authorities to ensure that a swift investigation is undertaken and that the victims receive justice and the woman receives support.

The government has announced that it has formed a probe team to investigate the incident. Members of the Upper House of Parliament have also questioned the home minister about the many incidents of caste based discrimination and untouchability reported in different parts of the country during the lockdown, demanding the formation of a parliamentary committee to probe into all such incidents of rights violations and discrimination against members of the Dalit community.

IDSN members and affiliates in Nepal will keep tracking the situation closely.