Agreement to provide Rs 1 million as a relief to Raj Kumar’s familyChitwan National Park has agreed to provide Rs 700,000 and the Rapti Municipal Office agreed to provide Rs 300,000 to the bereaved family.
Ramesh Kumar Paudel
A written agreement has been drafted to provide Rs 1 million as relief to the family of Raj Kumar Chepang, who died on July 22 from what is believed to be the injuries inflicted by Army personnel after he was caught inside Chitwan National Park.
In a meeting that was held in the District Administration Office on Friday evening, the park agreed to provide Rs 700,000 and the Rapti Municipal Office agreed to provide Rs 300,000 to the bereaved family.
On Saturday, Bishnulal Chepang, Raj Kumar’s father, received the body of his son in Kathmandu.
However, the agreement letter does not mention any specific date for the family to receive the relief. “I was not sure whether to go receive the body or not. But I am going to take the body of my son, believing that the agreement done in the presence of people’s representatives and officials of the District Administration Office will be implemented,” said Bishulal.
Chief District Officer Narayan Prasad Bhattarai, Chief Conservation Officer of the park Narayan Rupakheti, Chief of Batuk Dal Battalion of Nepali Army Arun Shrestha, Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Rapti Municipality Prabha Baral and Depu Iman Singh Lama, district leaders of the Nepal Communist Party and Nepali Congress along with the ward chairman were present in the meeting.
Friday’s meeting also agreed to conduct an impartial investigation into the incident and punish the guilty. The park assured the family that it would fund Raj Kumar’s infant daughter’s education upto grade 12 and repair their house.
On July 26, Bharatpur Hospital had sent Raj Kumar’s body to Kathmandu for post-mortem. However, last Monday, after the completion of the post-mortem, the family refused to receive the body and returned to Chitwan.
The Nepal Army has been accused of fatally assaulting 24-year-old Raj Kumar Chepang of Rapti Municipality-2 on July 16. On July 24, a complaint was filed at the District Police Office, claiming that Raj Kumar was tortured by the Army patrol, which led to his death.
On July 16, Raj Kumar and six of his friends, including two women, were detained by the Army patrol inside the park. They had gone to collect Ghongi, a species of snails considered a delicacy, in the Jyudi river inside the park. They were released on the same day. Bishnulal claimed Raj Kumar was taken ill since the day he was released and died a couple of days later on July 22.
Meanwhile, Chief conservation Officer of the park Narayan Rupakheti was transferred to the Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation a few days ago. Ananath Baral is going to replace him but he has yet to join the office.