THT 10 years ago: Slaughter of innocent worshippers at Nagarkot

Nagarkot,December 15, 2005

At least 12 people were killed and 19 injured when a Royal Nepalese Army (RNA) soldier opened indiscriminate fire at civilians at Chihandanda in Nagarkot last night. The soldier, Bashudev Thapa, was also killed in the incident. The victims have been identified as Bhagwan Tamang, Aaite Tamang, Ramlal Nagarkoti Shrestha, Maya Tamang, Sujan Shrestha, Ram Prasad Panta, Kale Tamang, Nanu Nagarkoti Shrestha, Niru Tamang, Damai Lama, Dipak Tamang and Dipak Thing. A fight between Thapa and the locals, including one Dilip Lama, erupted after the former, reportedly irascible, and his friends reached the temple at around 9 pm, eyewitnesses said. Thapa was beaten up by Lama’s gang after he attacked the latter with a knife. “Thapa then left the spot, only to come back with a gun and open fire at us,” said Sukalal Nagarkoti, 19, who was injured in the incident and is undergoing treatment in the Birendra Military Hospital at Chauni. Three of the injured have been discharged from the hospital, 11 seriously hurt and four others are still undergoing treatment. Witnesses differed on the nature of firing. Some said the soldier fired “rampantly”, while others said he took breaks in between the shots. Some said the firing lasted for about five minutes before the soldier killed himself. However, there is no confirmation that Thapa killed himself. Following the incident, soldiers from the RNA School, Nagarkot, are learnt to have cleaned the spot by morning before journalists and human rights activists reached there.

All sleep no work for Chhoti customs staff

Damak,December 15, 2005

Staff at the Chhoti customs office at Gaurigunj spend their working hours sleeping. All because, they have no any work. When a team of journalists turned up at the customs office on Tuesday afternoon, an official, Nava Raj Karki, was found fast asleep. After the journalists roused him, he replied groggily, “We have nothing to do. So, we sleep.” Peon Bindheshwor Paswan too was preparing to hit the sack for his siesta. Karki and Paswan said that the staff of the customs office have been enjoying their leisure after imports and exports came to a halt from the Indian markets of Fulbadiya and Fattehpur to Nepal. Though three employees have been assigned to the office, only two mark attendance. The chief of the office is of the level of Kharidar (non gazetted second class). Locals, however, claimed that items of daily consumption and chemical fertilizers are smuggled into Nepal via the check point. A local, Kedar Nath Rimal, said, “Nearly everyday chemical fertilizers and item of daily consumption are smuggled into Nepal in large quantities. No customs staff are there to check it.” Karki countered that except for the import and export of vegetables, the customs staff do not monitor other goods.