Dr. Raut’s privacy and security at stake

Police intrudes Dr. Raut’s privacy and security badly keeping him under house-arrests; keeps peeping through his house’s windows at midnight; family lives in police’s terror


2015 July 3, Rajbiraj, NEPAL. It is well known to locals that in the past months, Nepal Police has made its very visible presence surrounding the house of Dr. CK Raut in Rajbiraj of Saptari district. Their presence numbers from a couple to more than a dozen. Their number swells largely when they guess that Dr. Raut might go out of his house. They have put Dr. Raut under 24-hour surveillance, and for that sake, they have rented a nearby house and deployed some female members of the police too. We understand that they are doing their own assigned job and have not interrupted them in any way.


But in the name of surveillance, for the last few weeks, the police have been intruding into the security and privacy of Dr. Raut’s family. They have been entering into the house of Dr. Raut uninvited anytime, grilling children, women and senior members of his family, and searching his house unwarrantedly. Last week, the female members of the police (and possibly some male members waiting outside) climbed up to the roof of his house entering through neighbour’s evacuated house and peeked through the windows of Dr. Raut’s room, at midnight around 11:30 pm. Whether they filmed it or took photos of inside is not known. That has been repeated this week too. Besides, the police keep on circling Dr. Raut’s house on bikes at midnight, even around 1:00 or 2:00am. This has terrorised family of Dr. Raut, including several senior, women and children members, and they sleep in terror not knowing when the police are coming to peek through who knows which windows, or intrude the house from who knows which direction.


Therefore we would like to draw the attention of concerned authorities, human-rights organisation and civil societies about this invasion of privacy and security of Dr. Raut and his family members by Nepal Police. We appreciate the police for doing their assigned job, but request them to do so from public places and to respect citizen’s privacy and security. Moreover, the Government of Nepal should take the responsibility if anything happens to any members of Dr. Raut’s family, from such intruding activities of the Nepal Police including peeking through windows or entering house uninvited even at midnight.


Despite the Special Court has given Dr. Raut a clean cheat on a treason charge filed against him on October 8th last year, he has been virtually put into a house arrest, forbidding him from speaking to public, holding a mass-assembly, or even giving an interview. Last time he managed to come out of his house, somehow, was on 24th June, to attend a meeting about foreign aids induced deforestation, migration and resettlement projects in Madhesh/Terai, but he was arrested from Lahan. Prior to that it was only on May 26th that he could manage to come out his house, to give an interview to the Arena Television in Itahari of Sunsari district, but then also he was arrested from the interview room, prior to giving the interview, and kept in custody under very torturous condition. In the past, he was arrested even while going to the hospital (on April 2nd, 2015), and prevented even from attending funeral rites (on February 12th, 2015).  The police had even broken his leg during a brutal suppression on January 3rd, 2015 in Biratnagar and injured his head and arms severely by brutal attacks on April 4th, 2015.  He had to even undertake a fast-unto-death (from 2014 September 21 – 2014 October 1) against the torture given to him in the police custody.


In addition to that, almost a hundred activists have been injured in the police suppression in the last few months, and the police have filed more than a dozen of fake public offence case against Madheshi activists allegedly for supporting Dr. Raut. The supporters of Dr. Raut are regularly being harassed and tortured by police. Besides, despite Dr. Raut receiving dozens of serious death threats, which include government-registered organisations officially issuing death threats on their letterheads, the government has not taken any measures against them.


Notwithstanding such brutal physical suppression of the Madheshis by Nepal Police, Dr. Raut has instructed his supporters to stick to non-violence, and not to submit to police provocations. On 9th January 2015, he announced a ‘flower movement’ and asked all of his followers and well-wishers to hand-over roses to police, in retaliation to the force and violence they use.


Born in Saptari district of Nepal, Dr. Raut holds a PhD from Cambridge University and worked as a scientist in the USA prior to returning to Nepal to advocate for the rights of the Madheshis.  He has been a recipient of a number of awards including Mahendra Vidyabhusan, Kulratna Goldmedal, Young Engineer Award and Trofimenkoff Academic Achievement Award.  He has also authored ‘A History of Madhesh’, ‘Madhesh Swaraj (Self-rule)’ and ‘Denial to Defense (autobiography)’. He is also a director of the documentary, ‘Black Buddhas’, highlighting discrimination, racism and colonisation imposed on the Madheshis by the Nepali ruling class people.  Just a couple of weeks before his first arrest on 13th September 2014, upon an official invitation from the Constituent Assembly of Nepal, he had attended a meeting of the Constitutional  and Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee (CPDCC) in Singh Durbar, and suggested for the constitutional right of secession in the upcoming constitution. He has been advocating for independent Madhesh, through peaceful and non-violent means and is the central coordinator of the Alliance for Independent Madhesh (AIM).

Alliance for Independent Madhesh (AIM) is a coalition of Madheshi people, activists, political parties and various social organisations working for the independence of Madhesh, through non-violent and peaceful means following the principles of Buddha, Gandhi and Mandela. The alliance advocates an end to the Nepali colonisation, racism, slavery and discrimination imposed on the Madheshis. It stands for three pillars: (a) Independent Madhesh (b) Democratic System, and (c) Peaceful and Non-violent Means.


Acknowledging that the rights to freedom of speech, movement, peaceful assembly and association are the fundamental rights of all human beings everywhere, as also mandated by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of which Nepal is a signatory, we expect acknowledgement and assurance of our rights from the state and its agencies. We hereby appeal for assistance from all national and international organisations, human rights bodies and media to oppose any infringement on human rights by the Government of Nepal and its agencies and to secure immediate and unconditional release of the detainees. Until then, I ask you to assure the physical safety of detainees while in detention and guarantee that they are not subjected to torture or other ill-treatments.