It is very interesting to know that Indian leaders started realising that democracy and human rights are integral parts of civil society at a time when India's neighbours in Bhutan, Pakisthan, Nepal have been suffering at the hands of one form or the other dictators. To this aspect i would like to draw their attention about the activities of Indian Government to the innocent Bhutanese Human Rights and Democracy fighters since more then a decades.
After massive peaceful demonstrations all over southern Bhutan demanding for basic fundamental rights during third week of sept.1990 Royal Government of Bhutan by using military solution evicted all those who took part in the said peaceful demonstrations. Bhutan Peoples Party (BPP) and Peoples Forum for Human Rights in Bhutan (PFHRB) requested Indian leaders and government relief supplies and shelter to the growing numbers of evicted Bhutanese in Indian soil of jalpaiguri district of West Bengal but were mercilessly denied any sorts of relief to the dying bhutanese demonstrators, whose only fault of being expelled from bhutan was their peaceful participation in demonstrations. Many hunger strikes in Jantar mantar road, writer building park, jalpaiguri and thaljhora by the bhutanese under the banners of BPP and PFHRB demanding food and shelter was never listened by Indian leaders and indian government. Instead one fine night they sent Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to all shelters in jalpaiguri and assam where Bhutanese were living and forcefully loaded in punjab body trucks and deported to Nepal. Many were mercilessly beaten to death and others were mercilessly loaded in the trucks inhumanly by CRPF. They were dumped in India nepal border in kakarivitta.
Likewise Indian authorities arrested Bhutanese cycle rallist during 1994 when they were trying to cross india with the aim of bringing awareness about the Bhutanese gross human rights violation and ethnic cleansing. Many prominient leaders of Bhutanese democracy movement like late. RK Budhathoki, Dr. DNS Dhakal, Hari Adhikari, Biswanath Chhetri and many others were lodged in alipur jails for many days without trial. They were released only when they were forcefully asked to sign a bond stating that they will never cross into Indian soil in future.
Rongthong Kinley Dorjee, a prominient Bhutanese leader was arrested in delhi while he was campaigning among the indian leaders about the pathetic situation of Bhutanese peoples due to lack of democracy and rule of law. Mr. Dorjee was supposed to be handed over to Bhutan had international civil rights groups and other justice loving people not pressurised India against deporting him to Bhutan where he could be killed. Till now Mr. Dorjee is not allowed to leave new delhi. Thus he is made fully handicapped by Indian
Many attempts by the Bhutanese refugees living in various UNHCR aided camps in eastern nepal since early 1990 to return back to their country Bhutan crossing India were never allowed to do so. They were even lodged into prisons all over west bengal for months and even years just for their attempt to return back to their country Bhutan. Indian government even tortured many peaceful marchers and even beaten to death. Baburam Syanden, a peaceful marcher was mercilessly beaten to death by the indian police in prison is a good example of indian atrocities against Bhutanese Human Rights and Democracy movement.
Many other attempts in recent times by the Bhutanese refugees to return back to their home was denied way by india, a country who claimed to be the largest democracy of the world. Every time they tries to cross India (the only way to Bhutan as nepal and Bhutan have no common border) for Bhutan they were deported to Nepal .
At a time when King of Bhutan has been violating Bhutanese basic human rights by implementing the policy of "ethnic cleansing" evicted more then 20% of its population just for their peaceful protest against the massive violation of their rights, implemented apartheid policy against southern Bhutanese on the basis of race, religion, sex and colour, denying right to education, health, movement, and other fundamental rights of the southern Bhutanese even now, denying the right of his citizen to return back to their country with honour and dignity, India invited Bhutan's King Jigme Singye Wangchuk as its chief guest for Indian Independence Day last year.
India's stand on Bhutanese refugee issue that it is a bilateral issue between Nepal and Bhutan has been blocking the resolution of this great humanitarian problem of south asia. Instead of assisting poor and humble people of Bhutan living as refugees for more then 15 years as refugees in Nepal, India tries to justify King Jigme's conduct and encouraging him to do more human rights violation and denying permanently the right of the refuges to return back to bhutan.
When India helped Bhutanese to cross over to nepal and even assist them by providing trucks and other help it is not allowing them to use its land to return back to Bhutan. Is this what human rights and democracy means to Indian leaders?
I ask the Indian Leaders who says they support human rights and democracy worldwide if Bhutan is a part of world and if Bhutanese are the world citizen. If yes then why dont they be allowed to enjoy such rights?
I feel India should feel shame to claim a permanent seat in the UN security Council. When India supports ethnic cleansing policies of its neighbour Bhutan and does everything possible to justify such inhuman deeds of Bhutan's autocratic regime.
If the above statements of the visiting Indian leaders are true then let us hope they will extend their full support to the Bhutanese Human Rights and Democracy movement and also ask their government to help pressurise Bhutan's King to take back his people with honour and dignity at the earliest.
Ram Bahadur Karki Chhetri