Youth killed by tipper in Dhanusha; police suspect murder

JANAKPURDHAM: A youth was killed by a tipper in Mithila Municipality-5 of Dhanusha district early Friday morning.

Dilip Kumar Mahato, 26, of Mithila-5 had gone to Aaurahi river at around 4:00 am today along with a friend to stop illegal extraction taking place there, stated Police Inspector Ram Kumar Yadav at Dhalkewar-based Area Police Office (APO).

Preliminary investigation shows that Mahato was intentionally run-over by the tipper truck (Na 7 Kha 6413) when an argument broke out between Mahato and those carrying out illegal extraction of river materials, added Inspector Yadav.

Inspector Yadav, who had reached the site immediately after the incident at around 4:15 am, said that Mahato was gravely injured in the incident and died on the spot. "We have impounded the tipper and taken the driver into custody," he said, adding that further investigation is underway.

The driver of the vehicle -- who has been identified as Munindra Mahato, 34, of Mahottari district -- has been sent to District Police Office, Dhanusha for further investigation and action.

Churiyamai Sand Processing Centre located near Shreepur Tole in the municipality has been in operation for some years now. It has been learnt that though they appeared to only process sand during the day, they have been involved in extraction of other river-based materials during the night.

Dilip Mahato, along with his friend Roshan Yadav, went to the site near the river where extraction was taking place to stop the illegal activity as it would put the settlements nearby at risk.

Meanwhile, Laxmi Mahato, sister of the deceased has claimed that her brother was first killed and then hit by the tipper to make it appear like an accident. She said, Dilip left home in the wee hours after his friend Roshan called him to go out.

Irate locals obstructed the road some three kilometres east of Dhalkewar Chok on the East-West Highway. They removed the obstruction after being informed that the tipper, along with its driver, had been taken into custody for action.

Body of the deceased has been kept at the Provincial Hospital, Janakpurdham for postmortem. Family of the victim have demanded that operator of the sand processing unit also be taken into custody for action. They have also accused the police of not examining the body before sending it to the hospital.

Chief of District Police Office, Dhanusha, Superintendent of Police (SP) Ramesh Kumar Basnet asserted that investigation into the case is going on and that postmortem will be carried out with the family's support.

Mahato, who was pursuing engineering in India, had come home only 15 days ago.

(Translated by Priyanka Adhikari)