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A day after

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015
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An injured policeman at Kohalpur Teaching Hospital. Photo: Keshav Rana

A day after seven security personnel including a top police officer and a two-year-old boy were killed in Kailali, the district torn between supporters of the Tharuhat and the undivided Far West is still tense on Tuesday. Supporters of the undivided Far West province have torched properties of Tharu leaders, raising fears about communal tension. But Tharu protesters have stayed back. The local administration has imposed curfew in Tikapur, Dhangadhi and Attariya areas.

Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam has claimed that the Kailali carnage was premeditated, but Tharu leaders are claiming otherwise. They say they had no plans to attack security personnel but ‘others’ had infiltrated among them. Security officials and some Tharu leaders have informed Nepali Times that cadre of Netra Bikram Chanda’s Maoist party killed SSP Laxman Neupane, inspector duo Keshav Bohara and Balram Bista, apart from four policemen and APF soldiers, by infiltrating among Tharu demonstrators. Chanda had boycotted the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections and appears hell-bent on foiling the constitution writing process.

Chanda might have masterminded the Kailali carnage, but the lack of coordination between two security forces also seems to have worsened the situation.  Interviews with injured policemen and Armed Police Force (APF) personnel make it clear:  they were together on the field but had no coordination with each other.

makar adhikari

Makendra Adhikari

Police constable Makendra Adhikari, who survived the attack by protesters wielding axes, spears and baton, is now receiving treatment at Kohalpur Teaching Hospital. He says: “SSP Neupane was trying to pacify protesters. He asked us to open fire only when protesters dragged him down. But we just had tear gas and rubber bullets. And it was too late to control the crowd by using tear gas and rubber bullets.”

He adds, “We sought help from APF soldiers who were backing us from behind. They had bullets and could easily disperse the agitators. But they did not open fire.”

APF constable Surendra Hamal, who is receiving treatment at the same hospital, says they could not defend themselves as they had not been ordered to open fire. “Protesters had outnumbered us, and they were wielding axes, spears and spades but we were not instructed to open fire,” he says. “So when they started killing us, we ran away.”

Keshav Rana in Banke

 

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2 Responses to “A day after”

  1. rokf on Says:

    Thanks for the frank and unbias report about the sad, sad incident!!!!

  2. Anonymous on Says:

    “Protesters had outnumbered us, and they were wielding axes, spears and spades but we were not instructed to open fire,” he says. “So when they started killing us, we ran away.”

    Hamal ji, when you have murderers chasing with axe and any other kind of weapons you open fire and not wait for the order. If you had done that it would have been traitors who are dead now instead of innocent policemen and a child. So next time you don’t look around and wait for them to kill you. Only time you don’t open fire is when you have peaceful protesters.

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