Home Minister Thapa assures probe into encounter killings

Friday, August 10th, 2018 | | Politics

A day after the National Human Rights Commission formed a five-member team to look into the Bhaktapur “encounter” in which two suspected kidnappers were killed, Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa has said the government will also probe the incident in view of the questions raised over the police approach.

After returning from Indonesia, Minister Thapa told a meeting of the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee of Parliament that he has sought all the details of the incident—right from the abduction of a child who was killed to the shooting of his kidnappers.

A team from the Metropolitan Police Crime Division (MPCD) shot dead Ajay Tamang (23) and Gopal Tamang (22) on Monday. The duo had kidnapped Nishan Khadka, 11, on Sunday from Kandaghari and demanded Rs4 million in ransom from his mother Chameli Khadka.

The motive of security teams has been questioned after local residents reported that the accused were captured from a room in Nagadesh of Bhaktapur before being shot dead in the Doleshwor forest.

Minister Thapa said the government would see if the child could have been rescued alive. “The government’s official statement on the incident is out. But since there are doubts, we will look into the incident,” he said.

Security officials had started a search for the boy soon after they were informed about the kidnapping. The operation was intensified after Nishan’s body was found on Monday afternoon, buried four feet deep at a house construction site in Madhyapur Thimi-9.

Following the “encounter”, family members of the two dead filed a complaint with the rights body on Wednesday, terming the killings as “extrajudicial”. Relatives claimed that they were killed after being caught alive.

The watchdog has summoned DIG Manoj Neupane, acting chief of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s Office, to explain the matter. The MPCD stated that the duo was shot in retaliation after the kidnappers tried to shoot at police. “After coming to know about the kidnappers’ whereabouts, we sent a search team. Since the duo pointed a gun at the team, we had to fire back,” said SSP Dhiraj Pratap Singh.