Sincere Condolence to the family of Advocate Jagadish Acharya, a Human Rights Defender.

May 23, 2008.

An unidentified group opened fire on advocate Jagadish Acharya near his home in Kalaiya last night, leaving him seriously injured. Acharya was shot at near his home at Kalaiya-8 at around 8:45 pm, police said. He was shot in the thigh and is undergoing treatment in Birgunj. The gang which opened fire on him fled after firing a round in the air, police quoted locals as saying. Police have taken nearly 10 persons in custody for interrogation on suspicion of their involvement in the incident.

May 26, 2008.

The final rites of advocate Jagadish Acharya were performed at the Pashupati Aryaghat on Sunday. Some 300 lawyers participated in the funeral procession. The cadres of Janatantrik Tarai Mukti Morcha (Jwala Singh) had shot at Acharya on Friday at Kalaiya of Bara and he was undergoing treatment in Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu, where he died on Saturday. Issuing a press release, Nepal Bar Association condemned the attack and the Supreme Court, Appellate Court Patan and the three district courts in the Kathmandu valley postponed Sunday’s hearing after all lawyers participated in the procession.

Nepali lawyers, judges and judiciary staffs have been facing direct and open threat from the terrorist groups across the nation. During the 12 years of insurgency, 72 out of 75 district bar associations seized to function properly because of the bar member’s absence in the local bar units due to threat, intimidation and attacks. Nepal has approximately 20,000 lawyers, with about 8000 – 10000 in daily practice. The insurgency has forced all these lawyers to mushroom in the Capital city Kathmandu and seek refugee. Moreover, The Kangaroo Courts of the Maoists and the so-called People’s Law has made it impossible to practice law in most of the parts of the nation. There has to be guarantee of life, protection of rights and free and fair environment to practice for the legal practitioners. Nepal Bar Council and Nepal Bar Association must  provide the lawyers with Life Insurance from the dues they collect annually. [Santosh Giri].