RAUTAHAT, SEPTEMBER 8

Dalit leaders in Rautahat today picketed the District Police Office seeking to file an FIR against police alleging their hand in the death of Bijaya Ram in police custody.

Dalit leaders under the banner of Bijaya Ram-Niranjan Ram-and-Sumintra Baitha Murder Joint Struggle Committee Rautahat gheraoed the police office and staged a sit-in for about one-and-a-half hours chanting slogans against the police.

In connection with the murder of Niranjan Ram, 20, of Jigadiya, Garuda Municipality, on August 15, police had held seven persons, including Niranjan’s relative Bijaya Ram.

Bijaya, critically injured doe to police torture during the murder investigation, had died in the course of treatment at Birgunj-based National Medical College on August 26.

Angered by death of the youth in police custody, the Dalit community launched a struggle from the next day accusing the police of ‘murdering’ the youth by meting out torture and seeking justice. “We’ve been trying to file an FIR against policemen involved in the murder for the last five days but to no avail. Today also we came here for the same purpose, but the police simply turned our request down,” said Dalit leader Dharmendra Paswan.

Dalit leaders blamed then SP Rabiraj Khadka, Garuda Area Police Office DSP Gyankumar Mahato and eight others for the teenager’s death.

“After the DPO refused to register our FIR, we went to the Government Attorney’s Office. As office hours were over by the time we reached the attorney’s office and we were given assurance that our FIR would be registered tomorrow,” Paswan added.

In relation to the custodial death, the police organisation has suspended Inspector Nabin Singh, head constables Hiroj Miya Dhaniya and Munnu Singh.

Meanwhile, the agitating Dalits have also expressed concern about the critical condition of another person, Sikindar Ram, who was also detained with Bijaya, and have threatened to intensify their agitation.


A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 9, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.


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