Agitated Dalit community demands justice


The Dalit community of Rautahat’s Garuda Municipality picketed the area police office here today again, seeking action against the police personnel involved in the ‘murder’ of a Dalit youth in police custody, a few days ago.

Nineteen-year-old Bijaya Ram of the municipality, who had been taken into police custody over the murder of Niranjan Ram, 20, of Basabiti Jigadiya of the municipality, had died in the course of treatment at National Medical College of Birgunj on Wednesday night.

The Dalit community has blamed Bijaya’s death on police, accusing the police of meting out extreme torture to him.

The agitators argued that Bijaya was not involved in any murder case but was arrested by the police. He died due to excessive torture by the police to wrest confession from him.

They have asked a fair investigation into the death, compensation to the family of the deceased and action against the police personnel involved in giving extreme torture to Bijaya in custody.

“My son didn’t have any connection with Niranjan’s murder, but police barged into our home and took him away while he was sleeping. The next day I went to see him in police custody but I was not allowed to meet him,” said bereaved father Panilal Ram Chamar, seeking stern action against the police personnel involved in torturing his son to death.

Pressure has mounted on the police lately after the leakage of a video footage in which Bijaya at the hospital said he was beaten mercilessly in custody.

Bijaya’s post-mortem was conducted at the Kathmandu-based TU Teaching Hospital yesterday. “Preliminary report of the autopsy has corroborated the death caused by severe beating.

Our agitation won’t stop until SP Rabiraj Khadka, DSP Gyan Kumar Mahato, and other police personnel involved in committing the crime against humanity are suspended and action against them is initiated,” said Madheshi Dalit Development Federation General Secretary Dharmendra Paswan.

The Home Ministry has set up a three-member investigation committee to look into the death. The three-member panel is under the coordination of Area Police Office Chandranigahapur’s Under Secretary Dogendra Niraula.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 30, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.