Crime & Justice

Killing of 6 in Nepali caste-based violence was premeditated, report says

Kathmandu, May 31 (efe-epa).- A team from the Karnali Provincial Assembly members investigating the killing of six people in what has been labeled a caste-based attack in Nepal’s Western Rukum has said the incident was premeditated.

On May 23, nearly 70 villagers in Rukum, some 280 kilometers west of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, had chased away Navaraj BK and 18 of his friends who were trying to arrange an elopement with local Sushma Malla, 17.

The event turned violent and six people were killed. 

The bodies of Navaraj, Ganesh Budha, Sandip BK, Lokendra Sunar and Tikaram Nepali and Govinda Shahi were recovered from Bheri River which separates the boundary of Rukum and Jajarkot.

The five-member team included Assembly Whip of Nepal Communist Party Sita Nepali, Chair of Social Development Committee Raju Nepali, and assembly members Rato Kami, Daan Singh Pariyar and Jhowa BK. They submitted the investigation report to the Karnali Provincial Assembly on Sunday.

“The incident is clearly motivated by caste-based discrimination,” Sita Nepali told the Efe after concluding the investigation. “After inspecting the site of the incident and the bodies of the victims, we concluded that a crime of this magnitude is not possible without a premeditated plot.”

The investigators said the villagers had chased the group away following a verbal spat with the girl’s mother.

“The villagers then chased the group, pelted stones at them and thrashed them physically with logs, long before the group had reached the Bheri River,” said Sita Nepali.

The deceased sustained deep wounds and cuts to the head, body, and hands, she said, adding that the wounds on the bodies of the dead are further proof that the incident was premeditated.

“There is strong evidence that the men were beaten to death and left to die long before they reached the river, and were thrown to the river once they were dead. This is an inexcusable mass murder.”

“The root of the violent incident is the refusal to accept a Dalit man as a bridegroom by the girl’s family who belonged to the upper-caste,” she told Efe. “Our investigation has shown that Navaraj had visited the girl’s village at least twice prior to the incident and the relationship was known by the family and neighbors.”

The team has urged the government for an impartial investigation into the case.

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