Sudip Khadka was among Nabaraj’s friends who was in the group. “We were surrounded on all four sides, even the people who we played football with started to attack us,” he recalled. “Hundreds of people came out with sticks, stones, sickles and hoes and started chasing us.”
Being outnumbered, many of the injured youth started running, and risked their lives by jumping into the river. But there was a crowd waiting on the other side, who started beating them as they emerged out of the water.
“The boys were attacked after they had turned back home,” admited DSP Kishor Kumar Shrestha. But the police is being criticised for arresting the victims instead of the attackers on that day, just standing around blowing their whistles, and not rescuing Nabaraj while he was being beaten, and after he was thrown in the water. Nabaraj’s body was found at 8PM downstream.
“So many people chased us and beat us, but the police arrested us instead. They didn’t even ask us about our friends,” recalls Lal Bahadur Khadka, 17, who was also injured. According to Khadka, the police knew six people were missing, but did not do anything to look for them.
Sandesh Shahi and his friend looked for his brother for ten days until they finally found his decomposed body ten days later 30km downstream. “The divers from the APF were there, and they did look around but not very carefully,” said Shahi. He doubts that justice will be served since the condition of the corpses were not accurately recorded by the police.
Another of Nabaraj’s friend’s body was tied with a rope and had a broken hand, but the police report never mentioned this. Other bodies had broken necks, teeth, legs, hands, damaged eyes, chest injuries and their lungs showed signs they were dead before being dumped in the water. None of this was recorded.
The second day after the murders at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, Shahi found Tikaram Sunar’s body from the river. There was blood all over Sunar’s mouth, nose, and ear, and that was not recorded either by the police.
The body of Lokendra Sunar was found 40km downstream with his hands tied behind his back, on 30 May. But, the police record said it was caught in a fishing net. The last body to be found was that of Govinda Shahi, who showed signs of having been killed, buried, exhumed again and then dumped in the river.
“Govinda did not have any of his teeth, his forehead, and nose were cut, and he was found with his neck broken. After seeing the body’s condition, they buried the body, and after the public outcry, they took out the body and threw it in the river,” said Shahi.