Police say the reason behind the deaths will be known after autopsy
RUKUM, May 30: Police have said that the youths, who were killed in violence resulting from caste-based discrimination in West Rukum last Saturday, had sustained serious head injuries.
Last Saturday, locals of Chaurjahari Municipality in West Rukum had chased a group of Dalit youths, who had come to the village to help Nabaraj BK, 21, elope with his girlfriend Sushma Malla. The locals, including an elected people’s representative, chased the Dalit youths until they were swept away by the Bheri River.
Of the six Dalits missing in the incident, the dead bodies of five have already been recovered from the Bheri River. “Police have found that all of them had sustained serious head injuries,” said Inspector Dharma Singh Bista, in-charge of the Area Police Office, Chaurjahari.
The dead bodies of Nabaraj BK and Ganesh Budha, residents of Bheri Municipality-5; Lokendra Sunar and Sanju BK, residents of Bheri-11; and Tikaram Sunar of Chaurjahari have been found. However, Gobinda Shahi, a resident of Bheri-11, is still missing.
According to DSP Kishor Shrestha, all the deceased have serious head injuries, but the reason behind their death will be known only after the postmortem reports. “The preliminary investigation shows that they [Dailit youths] succumbed to severe beating from the locals,” he added.
Police have already arrested 18 locals of Chaurjahari for investigation into the case.
In the meantime, a five-member probe committee formed by the Ministry of Home Affairs to investigate the case has already reached West Rukum. “The committee has already started the investigation,” said under secretary at the ministry, Jitendra Basnet, who also leads the committee.