Published On: December 12, 2016 12:40 AM NPT By: Republica | @RepublicaNepal
KATHMANDU, Dec 12: A furious mob at Nayabasti in the Bouddha area of Kathmandu on Sunday vandalized a police beat and torched four motorcycles following what they described as the 'suspicious' death of Raj Kumar Lama, a taxi driver.
Lama, 36, originally hailed from Bhimeshwor Municipality-12 of Dolakha district.
Locals and the kin of the deceased intensified their protests against the death of Lama, calling it 'suspicious'. They have sought a thorough investigation.
According to police, they had rushed Lama to Stupa Hospital, which was the nearest, after fiinding him in an unconscious state on the roadside near local Kumari temple at around 10:45 p.m., Saturday. As Stupa Hospital refused to admit Lama, he was rushed to another hospital at Attarkhel, where he was pronounced dead.
SP Pradhumna Karki, spokesperson of Metropolitan Police Range Office, Kathmandu, said the cause of death remains to be ascertained as investigations are still underway.
While the kin of the deceased were putting questions to the police at Metropolitan Police Circle Office in Bauddha, irate locals, taxi drivers and restaurant operators at Nayabasti tried to set the police beat on fire and vandalized doors and windows. The protestors also torched two motorcycles belonging to police personnel, a motorcycle from the police beat and another motorcycle parked at the beat premises, according to police.
Raju Lama Tamang, brother of the deceased, said the death was due to negligence on the part of the police.
“Why did local police show negligence over the issue and fail to carry out investigations on the same day of the incident?” he asked.
Preliminary investigations show that the deceased had reached Tamang Gumba with a hotel girl and returned home in a taxi. The girl and the deceased driver had been in a cabin restaurant near the police beat.
One of the slippers belonging to the driver was found under the restaurant sofa and another at the spot where he was picked up by other police patrolling the area.
The restaurant staff have denied that there had been any brawls there. The irate mob also resorted to vandalism at the restaurant shortly after the police beat was vandalized.
Additional police personnel were deployed in the Nayabasti area to contain the situation. Police even fired six rounds of rubber bullet to disperse the agitated mob.
Police rounded up around 25 people on the charge of involvement in vandalism, on the basis of video footage and still photos. Some of the arrested were released later in the evening after inquiries.
The deceased, who is survived by a wife and a son, had been living in the area for the past five years. The family has not formally registered any case with the police. The body has been kept at TU Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj.
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