Jibraj Ashrit ( or Jeev Raj Ashrit, जीवराज आश्रित in Nepali ) was a Nepali communist leader who was killed in the Dashdhunga car accidentincident on 16 May 1993, with another popular Nepali communist figure Madan Bhandari.
At the time of his death, Ashrit was an standing committee member and chief of organisational department of CPN (UML), a democratic communist party in Nepal.
Early Life and Education
Jibraj Ashrit was born on 2 August 1944 in Harewa V.D.C – 9, Ritharukh Gulmi as a son of Premraj Sharma (father) and Chandrakala Sharma (mother). Ashrit’s real surname is Neupane, but he later changed that into Ashrit. Ashrit’s literal meaning is ‘dependent’ in Nepali.
When Ashrit was 19, his family migrated from Gulmi to Hasanapur, Rupandehi in search of better agricultural land and opportunities. He attended a primary school in Harewa and continued his education once relocating in Rupandehi. He later attended Siddhartha College, Paklihawa, and other colleges of UP Board and Tribhuvan University Nepal, ultimately earning a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree.
After completing his BA, Ashrit started teaching in schools. His first job as a teacher was at Anibarya Primary School, but later he taught also in Ganesh High School (now Kanti Higher Secondary School).
Jibraj Ashrit got involved in Nepal’s communist movement at the age of 22 after receiving communist party membership from Pushpa Lal Shrestha , the founder of the first communist party in Nepal. In 1966, he became a member of a communist party committee which was locally led by Devendra Ghimire.
After four years, in 1969, he led a student movement where students of 18 colleges demonstrated with their educational and political concerns. Ashrit was arrested and was sent to prison for 18 months. When he was released from Central Jail in 1971, he decided to go underground and get actively involved in party activities. While he was working secretly for the party, his nicknames were Santhosh, Susil, Samir, Prabin and Abhaya. Ashrit remained underground for next 19 years and came out on 26 April 1990, after multiparty democracy was reinstated in Nepal.
While incognito, Ashrit became Lumbini Zone bureau member of the party in 1971 and was in-charge of Arghkhanchi district in 1973. In 1976, he revolted from the Pushpalal group with other senior communist leaders and a year later, the group got assimilated to a committee known as Coordination Committee. In the new committee, Ashrit was nominated as a politburo member. In 1989, he was chosen as a politburo member of CPN (ML) and in 1992, he was given the post of organisational department chief of CPN (UML) during its 5 year convention. In 1991, he stood as a candidate to parliamentary elections from Gulmi 2. He lost the election.
Ashrit lost his life during the notorious Dashdhunga Accident which occurred on 16 May 1993.
On 16 May 1993, Ashrit was traveling from Pokhara to Chitwan with his party’s General Secretary Madan Bhandari, in order to attend a party meeting. Their car was mysteriously plunged into the Trishuli River and among the three passengers, the two leaders Jibraj Ashrit and Madan Bhandari died, while the driver Amar Lama survived. Ashrit’s dead body was found inside the car.
Ashrit married Maya Gyawali in 1975 and the couple have two children. Ashrit’s son Sagar Neupane is a medical doctor and specialises in oncology.In 2009, Jibraj Ashrit Memorial Foundation was established in Butwal in his memory. The initiative was led by Devendra Ghimire.
on 1 December 2010, Government of Nepal, General Post Office, Kathmandu introduced a 5 Rupees postal stamp in memory of Jibraj Ashrit.