Killed kidnappers’ kin seek NHRC probe

Kathmandu, August 8

Families of Gopal Tamang and Ajay Tamang, who were killed in an ‘encounter’ with police, today filed a complaint at the National Human Rights Commission seeking a fact-finding investigation into the incident.

Stating that police had arrested Gopal and Ajay from their rented room and taken them to the forested area of Bhaktapur on Monday to gun them down in a premeditated manner, the families urged the NHRC to establish the truth.

“If Gopal and Ajay had abducted and murdered 11-year-old Nishan Khadka, they should have been punished according to the prevailing laws. On the contrary, police killed the duo intentionally after taking them under control instead of investigating their involvement in the incident for prosecution,” reads the complaint.

Tikaram Pokharel, NHRC director and information officer, told THT that the rights watchdog had registered the complaint filed by the families of Gopal and Ajay. “NHRC will form a panel and investigate both the kidnapping and murder of the boy and the killing of the Tamang duo,” he said. Police had claimed that Gopal of Nuwakot and Ajay of Sindhupalchowk were killed in self-defence after they opened fire on the cops while trying to arrest them. However, the circumstantial evidences and statements of eyewitnesses make this claim suspicious, the families said.

Nishan of Pepsicola was abducted and killed by Gopal and Ajay before the police found their whereabouts and gunned them down. They had demanded four million rupees in ransom from the boy’s family.

Meanwhile, Radheshyam Adhikari, a National Assembly member representing the Nepali Congress, questioned the efficiency of police in handling the kidnapping of Khadka. “Had the police acted prudently, the boy could have been rescued alive. This is failure on the part of the government mechanism. We condemn the kidnapping and murder of the boy. However, it seems that the alleged perpetrators were killed in a fake encounter after being picked from their rented room. If this is true, it is a blatant violation of human rights,” he said at a meeting of the Upper House today. He demanded that Minister of Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa reply to the questions being raised about the ‘encounter’.