RAM KUMAR KAMAT
KATHMANDU: A five-member taskforce formed under Unified CPN-Maoist politburo member Navaraj Subedi to draft the definition of martyrs and ground for declaring martyrs has submitted its report to the government.
The taskforce has suggested that martyrs should be grouped as ‘great martyrs’ and ‘martyrs’.
Two out of five members of the taskforce have, however, contested the report saying they were not duly consulted and their opinions on the definition of martyrs were not incorporated. JB Dhaulakoti and Surya Bahadur Sarki, who have objected to the report, have refused to sign it.
Subedi said those killed by the state ‘while fighting for democracy and safeguarding national boundary’ should, in real sense, be called martyrs. “If a person is accidentally killed by police while not fighting for democracy and human rights, then the victim should not be declared a martyr. But the state needs to compensate the victim’s family in such cases,” said Subedi.
“We suggested that martyrs like Ganga Lal, Durganand Jha, Saroj Koirala and Krishna Sen Ichhuk cannot be compared with other martyrs, just like Bhagat Singh of India cannot be compared with some other martyrs.”
Subedi clarified, “If a person staging a sit-in for small cause dies in a terrorist blast, s/he cannot be called a martyr.” The report has suggested that those killed while championing the cause of a particular community or religion should be honoured with brevity award, instead of conferring martyrdom on them.
The report has pointed that of late there has been a wrong tendency to pressure the government to declare anyone a martyr, even if s/he does not meet the criteria.
Subedi said the taskforce has suggested that if a policeman, in course of maintaining law and order, uses maximum force and kills someone, then the government should hold the concerned official responsible and make him/her pay compensation to the victim’s family. The report has categorically suggested that martyrs should not be compared with compensation.
Dhaulakoti maintained that he and Sarki refused to sign the report because they were not consulted while preparing it. He added that they opposed the report also because the government did not consult them while declaring some people martyrs recently. “The government never consulted us while we were working on the report,” he said.