2002-02-25 - incident - Bardiya district २०५८-११-१३ - घटना - बर्दिया जिल्ला
Archive ref no: NCA-04076
Alleged incident overview | घटेको भनिएको घटनाको समीक्षा
Information regarding alleged incident | घटेको भनिएको घटनासम्बन्धी जानकारी
- 167. Jagat Prasad Chowdhury
- At about 4 a.m. on February 25, 2002 (Falgun 13, 2058), a group of about fifty RNA soldiers came to the house of twenty-two-year-old Nirmal Chowdhury in Baspur village, Manau VDC-9, Bardia district. The soldiers accused Nirmal of involvement in the killing of Amrit Man Shreshtra, a landlord from a nearby village who had been murdered by Maoists just weeks before (see below), tied his hands and blindfolded him, and took him away. Soldiers remained in the village until 9 a.m.153 During the night, they also arrested thirty-eight-year-old Jagat Prasad Chowdhury, beating him in a courtyard and asking him what he knew about Amrit Man's killing.154
- Two other villagers were arrested that same night, but released after six days. They told the relatives of the two missing detainees that they all had been taken to the Thakurdwara army barracks, where they were kept together and severely beaten. In reponse to the relatives' inquiries, officials at the Thakurdwara army barracks denied that the two missing men were in their custody. The families reported the "disappearances" to local human rights organizations and to the ICRC.155
- On April 11, 2002 (Chaitra 29, 2058), a large group of RNA soldiers carried out a major sweep of Nauranga village in Manau VDC-8, Rajapur, Bardia. It is believed that the RNA raid was also in response to the Maoist killing of Amrit Man Shreshtra, a large landowner in the village, about two months before the sweep.
- According to the witnesses, relatives of the late Amrit Man accompanied the RNA soldiers, pointing out people to arrest.156 At many of the homes the soldiers visited, they initially tried to fool the villagers into thinking they were Maoists, and asked the villagers to join them in blowing up a local bridge. The RNA soldiers arrested eight people from the village, none of whom were seen alive again.
- Many of the families affected by the incident were bonded laborers, and, after being later released from their bonded labor contracts, resettled in different areas of Nepal, making it difficult to locate all the families of the "disappeared."
- The soldiers came to the home of thirty-year-old Prem Bahadur Tharu, a tractor driver who was not involved in politics. The soldiers and Amrit Man's relatives called out to him, impersonating Maoists and saying they were going to blow up a local bridge. The family realized the men were actually RNA soldiers and tried to stop the men from taking Prem Bahadur, but the soldiers reassured them, saying they just wanted to ask some questions and would release him soon.157
- Nineteen-year-old Dhani Ram and his seventeen-year-old brother Sani Ram Tharu, both farmers who, according to their family, were not involved with CPN-M, were sleeping at their home when a group of RNA soldiers arrived at about midnight. Three soldiers entered the home and, pretending to be Maoists, told the brothers to join them in blowing up a local bridge, but the family realized they were actually RNA soldiers. The soldiers told the two brothers to get dressed and took them away. They were never seen again.158
- The soldiers came to the house of twenty-year-old Radhu Lal Chowdhury, a carpenter who according to his family was not involved with CPN-M, and ordered the other villagers already detained to call him out of his home. Again, the soldiers pretended to be Maoists, saying they were going to blow up the bridge. The family tried to stop the soldiers from taking Radhu Lal -- they knew immediately the men were soldiers, not Maoists -- but the soldiers promised to bring him back soon, and threatened to shoot his mother if she did not stop crying.159
- The soldiers similarly arrested twenty-one-year-old Mohan Chowdhury, a farmer and occasional laborer, from his home. He was not involved with CPN-M, according to his family.160 Soldiers came to the home of sixteen-year-old Lauti Tharu, ordered her to come with them and told her relatives to stay inside, saying they wanted to ask the girl some questions. Like many young people, Lauti Tharu occasionally attended CPN-M cultural events, but she was not an active Maoist.161 Soldiers arrested nineteen-year-old Kamali Tharu, a student in grade seven, from her home, while a son and a cousin of the late Amrit Man Shrestra, the murdered landlord, called out, "This is the girl."162 An eighth villager, Chillu Tharu (age unknown) was also arrested and "disappeared."
- The relatives of the disappeared tried to obtain information from various security and government officials based in Tikapur Kaili District, Guleria, Thakurdwara, and Rajapur, but did not succeed. The relatives also reported the case to the ICRC and various local human rights organizations.163 Nothing has been heard of the eight persons since they were taken from the village.