Bodies of two Dalit men recovered from Bheri RiverA Dalit man went to marry a girl from ‘upper-caste’ but her family and villagers chased them into the river.
Two Dalit men were found dead on the banks of Bheri River in Bheri Municipality, Jajarkot, on Sunday. The bodies of Nabaraj BK of Ward No. 4 in Bheri Municipality and Tikaram Sunar of Chaurajahari Municipality were recovered by the police.
According to police, 21-year-old Nabaraj, along with 18 of his friends, had gone to Soti in Chaurjahari Municipality of Rukum (West) to bring a 17-year-old girl as his bride when the locals allegedly attacked them and chased them towards the Bheri River. Nabaraj and his friends had jumped into the river to save themselves. Two people lost their lives in the incident while four are still missing.
The two bodies have been taken to the Jajarkot District Hospital for postmortem.
“Even before we could reach the girl, her mother started shouting and gathered the villagers who then pelted us with stones and chased us towards the river,” said Ashish BK, one of Nabaraj’s friends who had accompanied him to the girl’s house. “We jumped into the river, but the villagers would not stop pelting stones.”
According to the police, the girl’s family was against the union for they belonged to the so-called ‘upper-caste’.
“It was around 8pm when the incident occured. The villagers came after us saying that a boy from a low caste had come to take away a high-caste girl,” said Ashish, “We are in this situation because of caste-based discrimination.”
Thag Bahadur KC, the deputy superintendent of police of Rukum (West), added that Nabaraj had come to the police station a few months ago with the girl, seeking to marry her.
“We sent him back, as they were underage at that time,” said KC.
However, Dambar Bahadur Malla, chair of ward no. 8 in Soti, refutes those claims.
“The incident was not motivated due to caste differences,” said Malla. “A group of men showed out of nowhere during the lockdown and when the locals confronted them, they began to run.”
Other men who sustained minor injuries in the incident have been handed over to their parents while two critically injured are receiving treatment at Chaurjahari Community Hospital.
Karnali Province Police Chief DIG Basanta Pant said that police chiefs of both the districts—Rukum (West) and Jajarkot—have been instructed to conduct a fair investigation into the matter.
“Details regarding the matter will be known after further investigation,” said Pant.
Bheri River flows between Jajarkot and Rukum (West) and acts as the border between the two districts.