Police register complaint against ‘extrajudicial killing’ of Kumar PaudelPaudel’s mother had moved the Supreme Court after police repeatedly refused to register a complaint.
A complaint has been registered against three police officers at the District Police Office, Sarlahi in connection with the death in police custody of Kumar Paudel, a cadre of the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal, a Maoist outfit.
Superintendent of Police Santosh Singh Rathour, the chief of Sarlahi District Police Office, said the complaint was registered as per the directive of the Supreme Court.
On September 28, a division bench of justices Anil Kumar Sinha and Hari Phuyal directed Sarlahi District Attorney's Office to register the complaint after Paudel's mother Durga Devi moved the court claiming that both the district police and the attorney’s office had repeatedly refused to register her complaint.
Paudel’s family has claimed that he was killed by police personnel following his arrest in 2019, an act of extrajudicial killing, which police have denied.
“The complaint by Durga Devi received by post has been registered at the District Police Office in the presence of the district attorney,” said Rathour.
District Attorney Riddinath Niraula also confirmed the filing of the complaint.
Paudel, the Sarlahi district in-charge of the then underground Communist Party of Nepal, was killed in Lalbandi on June 20, 2019. Police told the media at the time that Paudel was killed in an exchange of fire after a group of four motorcycle-borne men attacked a police patrol.
The then home minister, Ram Bahadur Thapa, had also reiterated police claims regarding the circumstances of Paudel’s death before the House of Representatives and the parliamentary State Affairs Committee.
However, an investigation by the National Human Rights Commission in October, 2019 concluded that Paudel was killed after he was taken into custody. The commission also recommended pressing criminal charges against inspector Krishnadev Prasad Sah and senior constables Binod Sah and Satya Narayan Mishra for their involvement in Paudel’s killing.
The rights body also found that inspector Kiran Neupane and sub-inspector Surya Kumar Karki had provided flawed field reports on the incident and recommended that the two officers be sternly warned for their action.
It is a constitutional and legal duty of the government and its agencies to implement the recommendations from the constitutional rights body, but the recommendations made by the watchdog are seldom followed.
Govinda Sharma Paudyal, the then member of the National Human Rights Commission, said their investigation had found that Poudel was killed by a police team at the instruction of Nepal Police headquarters.
“The circumstances of Poudel’s death and the evidence clearly suggested that he was killed following his arrest,” Paudyal said. “We had recommended action against the police personnel involved in the incident, but that did not happen. Now that the case has been filed, police will have to proceed with the investigation.”