What caused Kailali carnageSenior Superintendent of Police Laxman Neupane, chief of the Seti Zonal Police Office, was in Tikapur for the past few days as tension flared in the area which could lead to a confrontation between the supporters of Tharuhat and Undivided Far West.
Senior Superintendent of Police Laxman Neupane, chief of the Seti Zonal Police Office, was in Tikapur for the past few days as tension flared in the area which could lead to a confrontation between the supporters of Tharuhat and Undivided Far West.
Minutes before he was killed in cold blood on Monday, an unarmed SSP Neupane had attempted to talk to the enraged protesters numbering thousands at Tikapur-9. Two of his security guards were also without arms when the incident took place.
SSP Neupane had reached the place on a van of the Armed Police Force. “SSP Neupane reached the incident site assuming that security personnel were patrolling the area. And the APF personnel retreated following the dispute with demonstrators,” said a high-level police source.
Thousands of demonstrators who had arrived from several villages wanted to take out a rally in the prohibited zone. There was a scuffle when the police tried to stop them. The security personnel lobbed tear gas canisters to disperse the crowd. But the protesters, using another path, suddenly encircled the police and attacked them indiscriminately.
“The superintendent of police and other police officers were in disarray after SSP Neupane fell on the ground,” a witness said. The protesters also snatched guns from police and fired at the house of an APF constable where his two-year-old son died.
Locals claimed that the protesters on the frontline were former Maoist combatants. They were trying to get to Tikapur from Manuwa village. The local administration had clamped a curfew at night and imposed a daytime prohibitory order in Tikapur in the four days before Monday.
Locals believe SSP Neupane was attacked due to the lack of coordination among the security personnel. Dev Krishna Chaulagain, whose house is close to the incident site, said the protesters from the western side encircled the police and attacked them with spears, catapult and stones. According to him, the protesters also burnt some personnel alive and thrashed others to death by chasing them.
The traumatised locals nearby are too shocked to speak about the incident. Window panes at some of the houses have cracked due to bullet impact.