Lalitpur police arrest three men for befouling the airThe three have been arrested for burning buffalo remains on the bank of Nakkhu river.
Over the past few days, complaints of a foul, burning smell in different areas of the Valley have been doing the rounds on social media. On the posts, some people were complaining that the smell was so strong that it was causing them difficulty in breathing.
The smell was particularly strong during the nights, and the complaints were mostly registered from Satdobato, Ekantakuna, Kusunti, Chysal, Kumaripati, Tinkune and Boudha areas.
Some suspected the smell to be the burning of human remains, while others went on to speculate the air was acrid as a result of the pollution in neighbouring India.
As the mystery continued and complaints were continually being lodged, the Lalitpur Metropolitan Police Range on Monday night (at 11:30 pm) arrested three people from Nakkhu river bank, where they were found burning buffalo remains in a small compound surrounded by corrugated zinc plates. The names of the three people were unveiled on Tuesday morning.
“We received a complaint of foul smell a week ago from Buddha Yuba Club, Nakhipot,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Range, Gautam Mishra. “People had come to our office saying that they were not being able to sleep during the night because of the smell.”
“It was on the day of Bhai Tika that the air smelled like that, like rotting fish,” said Rupa Joshi, a resident of Bagh Bazar. “I have no idea what it was, but now I see so many others have been getting that smell mainly during night times. I am quite confused.”
A Chuchepati resident Hema Gole Tamang told the Post that she has been facing the foul stinking problem since Dashain. “At nights, there has been a foul smell, like gas, in the air. A lot of people from our tole went to check the drainage, we even went to the nearby gas shop, but it was not the gas,” said Tamang.
“The issue became viral on social media, and a lot of people called us. But we had deployed police officers to find the cause a week ago, and have successfully made arrests,” said Mishra. “The three people arrested are just working-class people who were making manure from the remains of buffalo meat.” He added that the trio has been sent to Lalitpur Metropolitan City.
Officials at the city said it will take action against the accused after completing the required investigation. Among those arrested on Monday, two are from India—Feshal Muslim and Sajit Muslim—and the other is a Nepali, Rajan Sherpa from Jhapa. The trio has been living in Sunakoti in Lalitpur, and had been making manure by burning animal parts for the past six months, according to the police.
When the Post inquired how the smell of burnt remains of buffaloes in Nakkhu river reached places as far as Tinkune, Bhaktapur and even Chuchepati, Mishra said that the police believe there could be other people doing the same thing along river banks.