Nepal | November 30, 2020

Six cops to face music

• CUSTODIAL DEATH

Prabhat Kumar Jha
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RAUTAHAT, SEPTEMBER 23

The probe committee formed to launch an inquiry into the death of Bijaya Ram of Garuda Municipality, Rautahat, has recommended action against six policemen, including SP Rabiraj Khadka.

Police had arrested Bijaya and six others on August 16 in connection with the murder of Nirajan Ram, 20, of Jigadiya, Garuda Municipality, the previous day.

Following Bijaya’s death at the National Medical College in Birgunj on the night of August 26, his kin and local Dalit leaders, who alleged that police had killed Bijaya by meting out excessive torture in custody, started an agitation.

As they intensified their agitation by forming a struggle committee, the home ministry formed a three-member inquiry committee to probe the incident mandating it to submit a report within a fortnight.

The committee led by home ministry under-secretary Dolendra Niraula submitted its report to the ministry on September 17. According to sources, the report has held SP Khadka and others responsible for the Dalit youth’s death.

While the report has pointed out poor command control on the part of SP Khadka and sought action, it has sought re-investigation into the case of DSP Gyan Kumar Mahato. Action as per the law has been recommended against other policemen found guilty.

Earlier, though the higher authority of the police administration had initiated action by suspending Inspector Nabin Kumar Singh and head constables Hiroj Miya Dhuniya and Munnu Singh for six months, Dalit activists had continued their agitation seeking action also against SP Khadka, Area Police Office Garuda In-charge DSP Gyan Kumar Mahato and SI Birendra Yadav.

Meanwhile, Dalit activists have also accused the police of causing another person, who was also taken into custody with Bijaya, to lose his mental balance by meting out extreme torture.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 24, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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