Nepal Police on Thursday arrested C K Raut, a prominent Madhes rights activist who has been advocating an independent Madhes, on charges of sedition.
Raut’s arrest in the southern city of Janakpur is likely to cause ripples in the Tarai region at a time when the government failed to amend the constitution to address Madhesis’ demands.
His massive campaign across the southern Tarai region through the Alliance for Independent Madesh ( AIM) has been gaining support from several Mades-based districts.
The state agencies of Nepal have accused him of forming an armed force to fight for separate Tarai.
Confirming the arrest, Inspector General of Nepal Police Upendra Kanta Aryal said a case of sedition will be filed against Raut. “The police will investigate each and every case against him.”
Raut was arrested on the request of Siraha district police. Recently he had held a protest rally in Lahan, the district headquarter, demanding the separation of Tarai from Nepal. Police is preparing to lodge a treason case against Raut over his provocative speech in Lahan.
After the arrest, he was sent to Siraha for police investigation.
Talking to the media, Raut opposed his arrest, saying police had no right to smash the door and enter his room. “I was not even served any legal notice for arrest,” he said.
While appealing for calm and restraint after the arrest, Raut’s campaign urged the government to prove the charges against him.
Raut already faces some sedition cases in a special court in Kathmandu and in some other local courts.
He was arrested on September 14, 2014 on the same charge by Morang district police and later acquitted by the special court in April 2015 after paying Rs 50,000 in bail.
He is still facing four treason cases in various courts in Nepal.
A scientist by profession, Raut holds a PhD from Cambridge University and had worked in the US.