Police raided Mohammed Aftab Alam’s home in Rautahat on Thursday night in search of his brotherThe locals, unaware of the raid, encircled the security team thinking there was a robbery, and the police had to fire warning shots a dozen times to disperse the crowd.
Province 2 police on Thursday evening raided the house of Mohammed Aftab Alam in Rautahat. The Nepali Congress leader and former minister is currently in police custody at Nakkhu Jail for his involvement in a bomb explosion and the subsequent murder of 23 people in Rautahat 12 years ago.
Police raided Aftab’s house to search for his brother, Mahatab Alam—another alleged perpetrator of the incident. The raid, however, was unsuccessful.
The locals, unaware of the police’s raid, thought there was a robbery in the neighbourhood and encircled the security team. The police had to fire warning shots a dozen times to disperse the crowd, according to a police officer involved in the raid.
Mahtab has been on the run since Aftab was arrested in October, 2019. The raid was carried out by a joint team of Bara police and the provincial police.
“We conducted the raid after we received a tip-off that Mahtab had visited his home,” the police officer said on conditions of anonymity. “We later had to call Rautahat police when the locals came out in large numbers.”
Information about the raid was not passed on to the Rautahat district administration, according to Basudev Ghimire, chief district officer. DSP of Rautahat Police Bharat Shrestha said that a team from the district police joined the provincial police later after the locals gathered at the site.
Sheikh Shakil, mayor of Rajpur municipality, said that the police’s impromptu raid disturbed the Alam family and the community.
“We are concerned about the way this raid was conducted,” Sakil said. “We condemn the unilateral act.”
Aftab was arrested on October 13 in connection to a bomb blast in Fradahawa, Rajpur, in the district that took place on April 9, 2008. Police had arrested him on the charges of attempted murder and holding and transporting explosive materials, and he also faces charges of burning injured people alive in a brick kiln ‘to destroy evidence’.
Aftab Alam was elected to the federal parliament from Rautahat-2 in the 2017 elections. He has also served as a minister in the Madhav Kumar Nepal government.