Ward chair in trouble for assaulting teen in JajarkotThe video of the July 30 incident was widely shared on social media.
Bhim Bahadur Singh
A video clip of a young boy being beaten up ruthlessly by a man emerged on social media on Wednesday. The incident took place on July 30 at Junichande Rural Municipality-2 in Jajarkot.
Eighteen-year-old Sarpe Damai, a resident of the rural municipality, was tied to a pillar and beaten up badly by Ram Bahadur Nepali, the chairman of Ward No 2.
Damai, a Dalit youth, had reached the ward office on July 30 to collect nutrition allowance on behalf of his niece and nephew. He was allegedly drunk.
An argument broke out between the ward chair and Damai at the ward office. The ward chair then proceeded to beat up Damai, took him to the house of Gabbale Tiruwa, a local man, and tied him to a pillar.
Nepali detained Damai at Tiruwa’s house in this manner for almost three hours.
“The ward chair dragged Nepali to Tiruwa’s house, tied him to a pillar and beat him up mercilessly. He held Damai hostage for almost three hours at Tiruwa’s house,” said Jaya Nath, a local man and a witness to the incident.
According to the ward chair, a dispute started when he informed Damai to bring the children to the ward office to collect the allowance. “He was under the influence of alcohol when he came to the office,” said Nepali. “I was only trying to stop him from creating further nuisance. I took him under control after he misbehaved with me at the ward office.”
A team from the Area Police Office in Panchala reached Tiruwa’s house four hours after Damai was detained. Nepali had called the police fearing for his own safety after the incident, according to the Area Police Office.
Damai’s father, Range Nepali, says the ward chairman has violated his power of public office by beating up his son. “My son was at the office to avail of government services offered to us,” said Range. “It was wrong of the ward chairman to treat my boy like that.”
According to him, the ward chairman also prepared a statement and forced his son to sign the document stating he will not misbehave with the ward chair again.
“My son has not committed any crime. But the ward chairman forced him to sign papers in front of the police. My son was told not to repeat such activities,” said Range Nepali. “We voted them to power and this is what we get in return.”
According to the victim's family, the ward chairman has pressured them to not file a police case against him.
A team from the District Police Office in Khalanga was dispatched to the rural municipality on Wednesday to bring both the victim and the accused to the district headquarters for investigation, said Police Inspector Khuma Nanda Pandey, acting chief at the District Police Office.
“A case will be filed against the accused once the victim lodges a complaint with the police. But in this case, even if the victim does not file a case, the police will proceed to take action based on the reports circulated on social media and field reports collected by the area police,” said Pandey.
The accused, Ram Bahadur Nepali, was elected as the ward chairman from CPN UML in 2017.