SC halts govt’s decision to declare ‘People’s War Day’ as public holiday

Photo Courtesy: Official Website of the Supreme Court

Kathmandu: Supreme Court (SC) has issued an order preventing the implementation of the government’s decision to declare a public holiday on the 1st day of the month of Phalgun, marking People’s War Day. This date commemorates the initiation of the decade-long armed insurgency by the then CPN (Maoist) with the goal of establishing a communist republic in Nepal.

The court’s decision comes in response to a petition filed by Gyanendra Raj Aran and Kalyan Budhathoki, whose father fell victim to the Maoist rebels during the conflict in Ramechhap. The division bench, comprising Justices Anand Mohan Bhattarai and Mahesh Sharma Paudel, issued the order on Friday, temporarily halting the government’s move to designate Phalgun 1 as People’s War Day with public holiday status.

The writ petitioners argued that celebrating the national day on the anniversary of the Maoists’ initiation of the brutal war would be unjust to the thousands of conflict victims and the families who lost their loved ones. The bench, in its directive, urged the government not to approve leave on People’s War Day in the future, emphasizing that the public holiday, introduced without completing the peace process, only added to the suffering of the victims.

The decision to celebrate Phalgun 1 as People’s War Day and grant it public holiday status was made by the government led by Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal last year. The Supreme Court’s intervention adds a new layer to the ongoing debate surrounding the commemoration of historical events associated with the Maoist insurgency and its impact on the nation. Stay tuned for further developments as this legal matter unfolds.