Probe into custodial killing of youth begins 


Police in Rautahat have started investigating the first information report filed against six policemen, including a superintendent of police, over the death of a Dalit youth in police custody a few weeks ago.

After being spurned by the police, Niranjan Ram-Bijaya Ram Joint Struggle Committee had filed an FIR against then district police chief SP Rabiraj Khadka, Garuda Area Police Office DSP Gyan Kumar Mahato, Inspector Nabin Kumar Singh, Sub-inspector Birendra Yadav and head constables Munnu Kumar Singh and Hiroj Dhuniya at the District Government Attorney’s Office.

The FIR filed at the government attorney’s office by Panilal Mahara of Jigadiya, Garuda Municipality, on September 9, was registered with the police the next day.

“After the attorney’s office registered the FIR and sent it to us for necessary action, we registered it the next day,” said SP Siddhi Bikram Shah of District Police Office. “With the case registered, an investigation has now begun,” he added.

Further, Shah also clarified that the charged policemen would be suspended and detained only if they were found guilty in the investigation and a chargesheet would be filed against them at the court.

Meanwhile, the struggle committee Coordinator Sonelal Ram has accused the police of trying to protect officers, who had issued orders to brutally torture the detainee in the course of investigation.

“The junior policemen involved have been suspended, but how long will it take for the police administration to bring to book the police officers who oversaw and ordered such brutal ways of investigation?” asked a Dalit leader participating in the struggle for justice.

Police had taken Bijaya Ram and six others into custody in connection with the murder of Niranjan Ram, 20, of Jigadiya, Garuda Municipality, on the night of August 15.

He died on the night of August 26 in the course of treatment at National Medical College, Birgunj.

Infuriated local Dalits have been staging a series of protest programmes from August 27 demanding action against the cops. Bijaya’s body has been kept in Tribhuwan University Teaching Hospital for the past 20 days as kin of the deceased have refused to receive the body until their demand was addressed.

Feature Image: File

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 17, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.