National Human Rights Commission takes serious exception to the forceful eviction and killing of a youth by Chitwan National Park authorityThe park’s move to evict the landless Chepang families by means of arson and vandalism has drawn widespread criticism.
The National Human Rights Commission has taken serious exception to the alleged involvement of Chitwan National Park in the burning of houses of the people from the Chepang community on July 18 and for the death of another person after he was “beaten and tortured” by Nepal Army personnel deployed for security in Chitwan National Park.
The constitutional human rights watchdog has formed a probe team to investigate into the case of forceful eviction of the indigenous community from their residence in Kusum Khola and of the death of a man from the same community.
Chitwan National Park officials last week burnt down two huts and destroyed eight others using elephants with the intention of evicting the Chepang families who have been living in Kusum Khola, an area that falls within the national park.
Ten families were rendered homeless in the incident and almost all families lost their identity documents, money and other possessions, said the commission in the statement. The families, according to the commission, were living there since 1997.
The park’s move to evict the landless Chepang families of Kusum Khola by means of arson and vandalism, especially when the country is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and the monsoon-related disasters, has drawn widespread criticism.
In another incident, Raj Kumar Chepang, 24, was beaten up and taken into custody by Nepal Army personnel deployed in the security of the Chitwan National Park on July 16. He, along with five other men, were allegedly beaten up by the army personnel.
Raj Kumar died on July 22. The family has claimed the excessive beating and torture behind Raj Kumar’s death.
“The commission asks the Nepal government to provide alternative settlements to the families who lost their lives and conduct a fair and impartial investigation of both the cases—forceful eviction and death,” reads the statement by the commission issued on Friday. It also has demanded compensation from the government for Raj Kumar’s family.
Raj Kumar’s father Bishnu Lal Chepang has demanded an impartial investigation into the incident and has sought action against the guilty.
Meanwhile, Nepal Army has said it is investigating the incident of Raj Kumar’s death. Issuing a press statement on Friday, the army has said it will come out with the facts behind the incident after the investigation concludes.