Alleged timber smuggler dies of police bullet

Rajbiraj, October 8:

Bachha Ram Chaudhari, a resident of Naktirayapur-8 in Saptari and a timber smuggler who was injured by a police bullet, died while undergoing treatment today. Police said Chaudhari had tried to attack personnel of a police patrol from the Rupani base camp at Naktirayapur last night.

Chaudhari sustained a bullet injury in the waist. He was taken to Sagarmatha Zonal Hospital. The hospital referred him to the BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (Dharan) where he died while undergoing treatment.

Police said Chaudhari, who was involved in smuggling timber, tried to attack the police patrol with an axe. Patrol members had to fire at him in self-defence, said the Saptari district police office. Irate locals, however, alleged that the police killed an innocent person and disrupted traffic at Rupani on Mahendra highway since morning. Scores of vehicles bound for different destinations were stranded there.

A four-member probe committee led by DSP Pradip Kumar Shrestha has been formed to investigate into the case. A separate probe committee headed by INSEC representative Prakash Khatiwada has also been set up.

Meanwhile, highway traffic that was obstructed at Naktirayapur-8 resumed after seven hours at 6:30 pm. Traffic resumed after the local police authorities agreed to take action against the policeman who shot Chaudhari, provide Rs 10 lakh as compensation to the Chaudhari’s family and ensure the upbringing and education of his children, said locals. The agreement was made between police and locals, said DSP at the district police office Pradip Kumar Shrestha.