Inter-caste marriage turns friends into foes

By Sashidhar Parajuli

Morang, May 15: The Rishidev community in Sakkha village of Budiganga Rural Municipality-2 in the district has been begging for the access to drinking water from the local higher caste community for the last 20 days.
Being a member of a Dalit community, this is the first time that the people of the Rishidev community have been pleading to get drinking water.
The tube well from where they used to fetch drinking water was dug out of its place 20 days back, after one of the members of the community tied nuptial knot with a girl of so-called higher class family (Thapa).
Since then the whole Rishidev community was denied using local water source.
The tube well was installed by the ward committee in the private land of the Thapa families. Not only the tube well but also the entire settlement lies in the private land of the Thapa families.
However, the Rishidev community people have been using the land since their forefathers. The relation between the Thapa and Rishidev families had never gone sour.
The Thapa families have never shown any objection to the Rishidev community for using their land for housing.
However, lately the incident has created differences between the two communities.
Thapa families have adopted a new tactics to take revenge by digging out the tube well from the locality, the people of Rishidev community said.
They have claimed that the Thapa families intend to displace them from the settlement.
Following the incident, the community has lodged a complaint at the police post.
They installed another tube well in the same place. But again the Thapa families removed it.
Thereafter, the Dalit community was using another tube well located little far from the settlement. But their ordeal further increased when the tube well also stopped working.
Since then the community are having a hard time to arrange drinking water.
The community has lodged a complaint at the District Police Office demanding that their right to have access to drinking water should be ensured.
They have also filed a complaint at the offices of the rural municipality and ward.
Ward chair Rewati Narayan Chaudhary has been trying to resolve the dispute.
But his effort did not work in front of the Thapas.
On the last day of the Secondary Education Exam (SEE) this year, Sunny Rishidev and Shrijana Thapa Magar eloped and got married.
Prior to the incident, the families of both Sunny and Shrijana had a good relationship. However, the dispute arose when Sunny and Shrijana eloped and got married.
Since then, both families turned out big foes. Thapas have been exerting pressures on Rishidev’s family to find out his son, said Dip Narayan Rishidev, maternal uncle of Sunny.
Thapas’ aggression didn’t end here. They had tried to attack Rishidev’s family many times, he added
Now they have adopted a new strategy to torture the poor Rishidevs by removing the water pumps, said Dip Narayan.
Ward Chair Chaudhary said the Thapa families have been attacking the Musahar community time and again because their daughter tied nuptial knot with the lower caste man.
Depriving people from dirking water was against the notion of human rights, said Chaudhary.
Owing to this dispute Sunny’s father Thakur and mother Sugawati were displaced from their village.

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