2003-11-05 - incident - Dhading district २०६०-०७-१९ - घटना - धादिङ जिल्ला
Archive ref no: NCA-10699
Alleged incident overview | घटेको भनिएको घटनाको समीक्षा
Information regarding alleged incident | घटेको भनिएको घटनासम्बन्धी जानकारी
- On the night of October 29, 2003 (Kartik 12, 2060), a group of about ten men in civilian clothes came to the house of Ram Sharan Thapa in Jivanpur VDC-9, Dharke, Dhading district. The forty-eight-year-old Ram Sharan Thapa had previously served as the CPN-UML ward chairman.
- The men did not identify themselves, but the family believes they were army, as they were carrying different types of automatic weapons ordinarily used by the RNA.
- The armed men asked him about his cousin Baikuntha Bhujel's whereabouts, and then took him away on foot, ordering the family to turn off the lights in the hoouse and to stay inside. Just fifteen meters from the home, the soldiers shot Thapa, and then dragged his body into a nearby field. The family found the body the next morning.32
- On November 5, 2003 (Kartik 19, 2060), Baikuntha Bhujel, a twenty-five-year-old shop owner, was attending the funeral ceremony at Ram Sharan Thapa's house in Jivanpur VDC-9. At around 1 a.m., three uniformed RNA soldiers came to the house. One of them approached Bhujel asking for his name and, after Bhujel responded, ordered him to go outside. The soldiers then took Bhujel away, locking others present at the ceremony inside the house.
- His family went to the Dhading army barracks, petitioned Army headquarters and NHRC, but has not received any information.
- Baikuntha Bhujel had been arrested before, on October 14, 2002 (Ashoj 28, 2059), and detained first in the Bahini Baireni barracks and then in the Dhading barracks, from where he was released several months later. The army requested that he should check in with the barracks every month, which he did. According to his family, he was arrested because other people reported that he was a Maoist, but the family denies he was ever politically involved.33
- On the same night of November 5, 2003 (Kartik 19, 2060), also at 1 a.m., a group of RNA soldiers arrived at the home of Hari Prasad Acharya, a forty-six-year-old poultry farmer who lived in Naubise VDC of Dhading district, just off the main Kathmandu-Pokhara road. The soldiers arrived in a white minibus and a white van,34 and some were in uniforms while others were in civilian dress. Two soldiers came inside, asked for Acharya by name, and took him away in his sleeping clothes.
- The family went to several army barracks over the next few days, but was unable to find Acharya. A relative who worked at the Chaunni army barracks in Kathmandu informed the family that Acharya was being detained there, but the relative was too low-ranking to arrange a meeting with him.
- A released detainee told the family that he had seen Baikuntha Bhujel at the Chaunni army barracks and that Bhujel had stated that he was being detained there together with Acharya.
- The family reported the case to Amnesty International, the NHRC, and the ICRC, and also wrote to the chief of staff of the RNA and the prime minister, but received no further information. The family also filed a habeas corpus petition in the Supreme Court, which remains undecided.
- Acharya was not an active member of the CPN-M, but had on several occasions provided Maoists with food and shelter. It is often dangerous for civilians to deny Maoist requests for food and shelter, so such activity cannot be seen as active, voluntary support for CPN-M. He had previously been arrested on July 25, 2002 (Shrawan 9, 2059), for providing food to Maoists, and had spent twenty-two days in RNA custody, followed by four months' imprisonment. After his release, he was required to report monthly to the police.35