Two deaths in police custody within a month


Nineteen-year-old Roshan BK was arrested on the charge of stealing a mobile phone in ward 5 of Dhangadi on September 7.

Kept in the custody of Kailali District Police Office, BK was found dead in custody four days later. DSP Pratik Bista said BK was found hanging in the toilet. BK’s family members, however, accused police of torturing him to death.

Amar Bahadur Chand of Dhangadi Sub-metropolitan City- had died in the custody of Fulbari Area Police Office, Kailali, on August 12. Chand was found injured in the toilet.

He was pronounced dead at Seti Hospital.

Two persons have died in police custody within a month. Death of detainees in police custody has posed a question over the security system in the district. Kailali police is drawing criticism for its inability to provide security to people in its custody.

BK’s family members claimed that Roshan was killed. “He had received bruises all over his body. He was tortured to death,” they claimed.

BK’s father Tek Bahadur refuted that Roshan had killed himself and claimed that he was tortured to death. “Roshan received cuts on his mouth and nose. He died due to police beating. But, police are trying to cover it up,” Tek Bahadur said.

BK’s relatives and family members staged a protest rally in Dhangadi today. After a probe committee led by APF SP Rajib Basnet was formed to investigate the incident, family members took the body. It was cremated yesterday.

Family members said they were allowed to see Roshan’s body only after they agreed to receive it. Roshan’s senior brother Rabi said Roshan had died on Thursday night but they were informed only on Friday morning.

“We were allowed to see the body only after we signed the paper saying we would receive the body,” Rabi added.

Meanwhile, police have been claiming that BK committed suicide in the toilet.

DSP Pratik Bista claimed that BK killed himself. District Police Office had contacted the media regarding the death, calling it suicide.

The National Human Rights Commission Sudurpaschim Province Office inspected the custody of the District Police Office.

Director Jhankar Rawal of the commission said the incident could not be called suicide without investigation.

“Death of a detainee in police custody is an unfortunate incident. This has posed a security challenge and questioned the ability of police,” Rawal added.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 14, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.