“He was beaten the whole night, and his body burnt by lit cigarettes”

Published On: June 4, 2020 01:35 PM NPT By: Ashim Neupane  | @ashimnep

On Friday evening, a 19-year-old youth was allegedly beaten by his girlfriend’s family in Sarlahi 

KATHMANDU, June 4: On late Friday evening, Raju Kushwaha was not feeling well. The 19-year-old from Bagmati Municipality-10 in Sarlahi district was having a conversation with his family members before going to bed. Suddenly, he got a call from his girlfriend at around 10:30PM.

His girlfriend [Anita Mahato] asked him to come over to her place, insisting there was something emergency. He initially refused. After receiving several phone calls, Raju left the house to meet his girlfriend. It was exactly 10:55PM when Raju left home, according to his elder brother Sanjay.

They were in a relationship for the last three years.

On his way, a group of four youths [Anita’s brothers] tied up Raju and they forcefully took him to a shuttered room in their house.

“I was forcefully taken to the house. I was tied. They hit me on my head with iron rods. One of Anita’s brothers burnt my penis with cigarettes multiple times,” whispered Raju, who is at the Neuro Ward in Kathmandu-based Annapurna Neuro Hospital. Raju can’t move. He can only whisper. He has cigarette burns all over his body. He has serious head injuries. 

According to Sanjay, they [Anita’s family] were against the relationship for a long time. “The Mahato family is a landlord, and has Bigahas of land in the district. They were against the relationship as we belong to a middle-class family,” said Sanjay, 

The Mahato brothers had beat Anita the entire day to call and invite Raju to their house. “Anita was beaten the whole day, until she agreed to call me. She told me over the phone call that I need to be there as she was being tortured,” said Raju. 

Sanjay told Republica that the Mahato family exercises political power in the village. “Her brother is a ward member of Bagmati-8. Another brother is an officer at the District Court. Her father is also a former ward chairman,” said Sanjay, adding that police didn’t even file a case against the Mahato family after the incident.

At around 11:30PM Friday, some residents of Bagmati-8 woke up to a strange and loud sound from Anita’s house. It sounded like somebody was being beaten badly. When local residents went to inquire, Anita’s brothers told her that there is nothing to worry as it was a family conflict between brothers about ancestral property.

“The sound of beating did not stop. I knew it was not a family conflict. At around 1:30AM, I called a few neighbors and went to Anita’s house. They [Mahato family] weren’t willing to open the door. After we insisted, they opened the shutter, and we saw Raju was lying unconscious. Then we immediately informed Sanjay,” a neighbor told Republica, on condition of anonymity as she fears the Mahato family.

According to eye-witnesses, the Mahato family called the police themselves. “Police arrived at the scene within 15 minutes. Surprisingly, police officers handcuffed Raju, who was lying unconscious on the floor,” said a neighbor, adding that the Mahato family had accused Raju of burglary.

“Police took unconscious Raju to a local police station. But as Raju was critically injured, police allowed us to take him to the hospital,” Sanjay said.

Dumbar Karki, a local leader of Nepal Communist Party, said that the incident was a heinous crime. “Several body parts, his face, and his penis have been burnt by cigarettes. Even if Raju had gone there with the wrong intention, that was not the way to deal with the situation,” he said.

In the meantime, Kishun Dev Mahato, elder brother of Raju’s girlfriend, who is also a ward member of Bagmati-8, said that he found Raju in his sister’s room at around 1:30AM. “I asked him the reason for coming to my house this late. He couldn’t answer. His intentions were wrong, so we beat him.”

The Kushwaha family has said that police didn’t file a case against the Mahato brothers until Wednesday. “The case happened Friday night, but police didn’t file a case. Instead, police was preparing to file a rape case againt my brother,” said Sanjay, adding: “Even if my brother had gone there with the wrong intentions, that’s not the way to deal with him. They [Mahato brothers] could have tied him up and called the police.”

On Wednesday morning, a group of youths and local residents had rounded up the house of the Mahato family. Following the incident, the Area Police Office, Barahathawa, filed a case against the Mahato brothers.

Meanwhile, Inspector Rajendra Prasad Yadav, in-charge of the police station, said that it was investigating the case. “We have arrested one of the brothers,” he said.

With inputs from Tanka Chhetri in Sarlahi

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