‘Protesters were shot at without warning’

Dang, February 10:

A Royal Nepalese Army personnel shot at the peaceful demonstrators killing CPN-UML district council member Umesh Chandra Thapa and injuring Nepali Congress cadre Krishna Giri in Dang on February 8, a preliminary report released by a team of human rights organisations said today.

The seven-party activists were holding their anti-election campaign near Tulsipur Chowk, which was far from the polling booth and the police baton charged them to disperse

the crowd.

Moment later, the demonstrators again gathered and continued with their protest from the Super Lodge Road when an RNA vehicle arrived and began indiscriminate firing at them, the report said, adding, the terrified demonstrators ran into local peoples’ houses.

“The security forces didn’t give any kind of prior warning, such as blank firing, baton charging or arresting, before shooting. So this incident is a gross violation of human rights,” the report said.

The investigation team has demanded action against the culprit, treatment for the injured, compensation for the family of deceased and provision of education for the children of the deceased.

“The incident was the result of abuse of authority given by Home Minister to the security forces to shoot,” report further said.

The nearby homes were hit by several bullets and the locals are still terrified, the investigating team said.

The report also drew attention of Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, National Human Rights Commission and other national and international human rights organisations. The team included representatives of 13 human right organisations including INSEC, Human Rights Alliance Nepal and Human Rights Protection Forum.

Meanwhile, the OHCHR and the NHRC have launched separate investigations into the killing of Umesh Chandra Thapa.