Wednesday, December 14, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Nepal: Lower caste man killed for touching stove

Lower caste man killed for touching stove
2011-12-13 11:29

Kathmandu - A man reportedly belonging to a low-caste group was beaten
to death in Nepal by high caste men for touching their stove, media
reports said on Monday.

Manbir Sunar, 30, a Dalit, or low caste member, from Jibutha village
in the far-western region, was killed by two men on Saturday after he
touched their restaurant's stove while lighting a cigarette, according
to Avenues Television.

Officers said they had arrested two men and were investigating.

Nepali society, which is 80% Hindu, still practises a caste-based
social system, although laws ban caste discrimination.

"We're living in the 21st century where we're very politically
conscious about even the terms we use to denote things," Prakash
Chandra Pariyar, a Dalits' rights activist and himself a member of the
group, told dpa.

"Nothing can be more barbaric than killing a man for simply touching a stove."

The caste system came to Nepal around 500 BC as Indian Hindus
migrated. It divides Hindu Nepali society into four sections, placing
the Dalits, or untouchables, at the bottom and the Brahmins, or
priests, at the top.

In April, the parliament endorsed a bill against caste discrimination,
which laid out punishments for any infringements.

"But incidents like these are an example of oppression and show that
the state is still weak in implementing the laws," Pariyar said.

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