CK Raut under arrest; the separatist leader faces life sentence or lengthy jail term if convicted of treason charges

Krandan Chapagain

By Krandan Chapagain, Kathmandu
2 February 2017

Tensions are expected to rise in the plains districts of Nepal following arrest of “separatist leader” CK Raut Thursday afternoon. He was detained from his rented property in the holy town of Janakpur.

Mr Raut stands accused of conspiring to separate Madhesh (the southern plains districts of the Himalayan nation) from Nepal.

The former “computer scientist” has constantly been in news over the past few years due to his fiery expressions trained at “the ruling elites” of Kathmandu whom he blames for “colonising Madhesh”.

CK Raut
Nepal Police officers arresting CK Raut on Thursday afternoon I Photo: Facebook

The immediate reason of his detention this time (he was detained in the past for similar reasons) has been a speech he delivered on January 18. Addressing a mass gathering in Siraha district, Mr Raut had expressed rather secessionist views creating widespread backlash from people living across the Himalayan nation.

Co-organiser of The Alliance for Independent Madhesh (AIM), Kailash Mahato, has termed the arrest ‘unlawful’. He has accused Nepali authorities of harassing Mr Raut’s family.

“More than one dozen police have broken gate lock and harassed his wife along kids before arresting him. Nepali state has yet again shown its racist color by arresting Dr Raut from Janakpur in an undemocratic manner. Government of Nepal is violating Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article-19 continuously. In spite of the release of treason, Nepal Government & its police have continually been arresting and disturbing Dr. Raut, his personal affairs, his colleagues and his peaceful programs too,” Mr Mahato said in a press statement immediately after the arrest.

The manifesto of AIM, of which CK Raut is president, demands for Madhesh to be declared “a sovereign and independent nation and form Madhesh Government which will take care of the tasks of state transition, administration, holding election and drafting constitution.”

AIM regards Nepali security forces (Nepal Army, Armed Police Force and Nepal Police) as “colonial” and wants them to withdraw from the low-lying districts.

If convicted of treason, Mr Raut may face lengthy jail term or life in prison, legal experts told citing existing Nepali laws related to treason.

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