Duhabi brick kiln supervisor shot dead

Sunsari/Biratnagar, Nov 21

An unidentified gunman in Sunsari today shot dead Fida Hussein, supervisor at Duhabi-based Jaya Baba Brick Kiln. Hussein, 50, was shot twice in his chest in front of the brick kiln at Chhatabeli in Duhabi.

“No sooner had he parted with me and headed towards the brick kiln after morning walk than I heard a loud bang. When I turned back I saw him lying on the ground,” said Hussein’s wife Asha Khatun Rishidev, who had accompanied her husband for the walk today.

According to Rishidev, a youth who was exercising near the brick kiln had opened fire at her husband. “He had stopped his bike nearby and was stretching his limbs. I rushed to my husband. The shooter started the bike and fled in no time,” she said.

Though locals had rushed Hussein to Biratnagar-based Neuro Hospital, he was declared dead there, police said.

Though, Hussein received only two bullets, police recovered three bullet cases from the site. According to Chief District Officer Prem Prakash Upreti, security has been beefed up in Duhabi area and on the border entry point of the district after the incident.

Further, Upreti said a bureau team of Province Police Office had arrived at the site while a team from the Central Investigation Bureau will also be arriving.

The murder today sparked a protest in Duhabi. While locals participating in the protest sought martyr’s status for the deceased, compensation to the family and government job for the deceased’s son, they have also sought arrest of the culprit within 24 hours and security guarantee for the Muslim community.

Protesters also expressed concerns at the series of murders of members of the Muslim community in recent days. They displayed the body on the road and enforced a shutdown of the bazaar. Demonstrators burnt tyres at places and sought resignation of Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa.

Meanwhile, though talks were held between Hussein’s family and the administration today afternoon, they ended inconclusively. The meeting saw the participation of CDO Upreti, SP Rajan Adhikari, former minister Ram Kumar Subba, Nepali Congress Sunsari President and Province 1 parliamentary party leader Rajiv Koirala, PA member Lilam Basnet and the victim’s family.

The talks ended citing the authorities’ failure to guarantee security. The deceased’s family has said that they wouldn’t perform the final rites until the home minister arrived and assured them security.

CDO Upreti, on his part, informed that he has sent the demands of the deceased’s family to the Ministry of Home Affairs. “The police are interrogating seven suspects who were detained. Police are also continuing their investigation in the vicinity,” he said.

Hussein also worked as an electrician with Nepal Electricity Authority Duhabi and Rishidev was his second wife. His first  wife Ashma Khatun had gone to her parents’ home when the incident occurred.

About a month ago, Khurshid Alam was shot dead in Bhutaha of Sunsari.