KATHMANDU, JANUARY 27

The United Nations special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment; the special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; the special rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association and the special rapporteur on minority issues have sought clarification from the Government of Nepal regarding six cases of recent extrajudicial killings.

Between October 2019 and August 2020, there had been six reported cases of human rights violation against minority communities.

Bijay Mahara, a 19-year-old belonging to the Dalit community, and living in Garuda Municipality, Rautahat, was arrested on 16 August 2020 along with 10 others on suspicion of involvement in a murder that took place the previous day.

On 27 August 2020, Mahara, died due to alleged torture while in police custody in the course of treatment at National Medical College.

Rasikul Alam, a 38-year-old resident from Jhapa Rural Municipality, Jhapa district, was killed in police shooting on 26 August 2020 while participating in a demonstration to protest the arrest of two Muslim men, who were accused of slaughtering an ox.

On 10 June 2020, Sambhu Sada Musahar, a 23-year-old from Sabaila Municipality, Dhanusha, died in police custody.

He had been in detention since 26 May 2020. He had surrendered to police after he hit two persons while driving his tractor.

Durgesh Yadav, a 24-year-old from Aurahi Rural Municipality, Siraha, had been living in Koteshwor, Kathmandu, for studies and work. On 1 July 2020, Durgesh Yadav died in police custody at Lalitpur Metropolitan Police Range.

On 24 May 2020, police shot dead a 16-year-old teenage boy (name withheld) in his village in Sahasaula, Ramgopalpur Municipality of Mahottari district. According to police, the deceased was an alleged drug dealer.

Twenty-one-year-old Suraj Kumar Pandey was killed at around 11:45am on 31 October 2019 when police fired shots indiscriminately during an idol immersion procession in Kapilvastu district. Pandey was a bystander and was not a participant in the procession.

"While we do not wish to prejudge the accuracy of these allegations, we express our grave concern at the use of lethal force by security forces, the alleged arbitrary arrests, the ill-treatment and deplorable conditions that the detainees were reportedly subjected to, the deaths in custody and the pattern of discrimination in filing FIRs and follow-up on complaints," said the special rapporteurs.

"As it is our responsibility, under the mandates provided to us by the Human Rights Council to seek clarification of all the cases brought to our attention, we would be grateful for the observations of the Government Nepal along with clarifications regarding allegations of extrajudicial killings of six persons within 60 days beginning January 18," the special rapporteurs said.

The Government of Nepal has been told to provide detailed report of the results, of any additional investigation and judicial or other inquiries carried out in relation to the death of the above-mentioned persons in custody. "If no investigative action has been initiated, please explain how this is compatible with the international human rights obligations of Nepal," they said.

A version of this article appears in the print on January 28, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.