Former education minister Krishna Gopal Shrestha has said he is not bothered by the interim order of Supreme Court (SC) to the police to accept complaint against him over the Rupa Sunar incident.
Talking to Setopati Friday morning Shrestha stated that he has not paid attention to that claiming that he has fought against caste discrimination and untouchability throughout his life. "I have reached this age today fighting for the dalits and against untouchability," he added. "I don't understand why they do so. I don't recognize those persons. I cannot bear to see anyone suffer injustice. Loving those who suffer injustice is my character."
He pointed that he can be jailed if anyone feels he has discriminated. "If they want to take and lock me up, they can. They can take me and keep me (in prison) if they feel Krishna Gopal did injustice of untouchability, perpetrates injustice on dalits."
He argued that debating on such issues is a waste of time. "Why waste time on such things? Let us four persons go to help at places suffering from flooded river instead. Let's expend our energy to distribute relief materials to the suffering people instead. I am fed up, feel the strain at times. Those who think good alas don't fare well."
Minister Shrestha had reached the Metropolitan Police Circle Singha Durbar for release of the landlord who allegedly refused to lease a room to Rupa Sunar due to her caste.
The police released Saraswati Pradhan from Babar Mahal, Kathmandu after the District Government Attorney Office pointed at inadequate investigation and instructed the police to do further investigation.
Minister Shrestha took the landlord to her home on his government vehicle with flag after her release.
The issue of a federal minister dropping a person accused of ethnic discrimination to her home was widely condemned.
The police had arrested the landlord on June 20 and submitted the investigation file to the District Government Attorney Office after interrogating the woman while in custody. The District Government Attorney Office did not take the case to the court citing lack of evidence to implicate the landlord.
Sunar, who lives with her mother, had hunted for a room at Babar Mahal on June 15. The 24-year-old presenter of 'Ukali Orali' program on Image Television liked the room that her friend showed. The landlord, Sunar claims, had first agreed to lease the room and the rent was finalized.
The dalit girl had said she is a daughter of kaami (black/goldsmith) when asked about her ethnicity by the landlord. She claims that the landlord refused to lease the room after finding out that she is a dalit.
Sunar moved the Apex Court after the police refused to lodge complaint against Shrestha demanding order for registration of the complaint and investigation against him.
The joint bench of Justices Prakash Singh Raut and Nahakul Subedi on Thursday issued an interim order instructing the police to lodge complaint against Shrestha.
The SC has pointed that Shrestha in capacity of a minister has been found to have gone to the police station when the complaint against the landlord was still under investigation and dropped her home on the government vehicle. It has, therefore, instructed the police to register the complaint by Sunar who claims that Shrestha's act influenced investigation of the case against the landlord, and conduct effective investigation against him.