Kumar Paudel who died in a "an exchange of fire" with police.
SARLAHI, July 2: The government team which visited Sarlahi to investigate the killing of Kumar Paudel, the district in-charge of the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal (CPN), by police has returned to Kathmandu empty-handed.
Three days ago, the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee of the federal parliament directed the Ministry of Home Affairs to submit a report on the case. Then the home ministry deployed a team to the the site. However, the team returned on Monday without finding any evidence against the police claim that Paudel had been killed in an exchange of fire. Home ministry Under-secretary Deepak Nepal, who had coordinated the team, informed Republica that the team returned after interrogating the mayor of Lalbandi, Man Bahadur Khadka, chief of ward 1 Panchlal Syangbo and the locals of the incident site.
"We spoke to the mayor and ward chief of the place and also inspected the place," said Nepal, adding, "We also spoke with the leaders of various political parties and the locals but they said that they did not hear the gunshots."According to him, more details will be known only if they got a chance to meet with three of the members of the Chand-led party who managed to run away from the police after the incident. "We found that there is no one who can tell us about the incident than those three members themselves," said Nepal. Those who know the details of the incident are requested to send an e-mail to the home ministry.
Last Thursday, 47-year old Paudel and his three friends were going to Lakhandeh of Lalbandi-1 on motorbikes when they were chased by the police. As stated by the police, those on the motorbikes opened fire at the police compelling the latter to shoot at them in self-defense. However, the members of the Chand-led Maoist party accuse the police of shooting Paudel with the ill-intention of killing him. Even the family members of the deceased claim Paudel was taken under control and then shot dead.
The incident occurred near Chandrapur forest at around 2 pm. As the home ministry team has returned without collecting any supporting details, the district-based social activists, political leaders and civil society leaders are disappointed.