Dalit leaders in Rautahat picketed the District Police Office (DPO) on Tuesday seeking to file an First Information Report (FIR) against police officials for their alleged involvement in the custodial death of Bijaya Ram Chamar.

Bijaya Ram-Niranjan Ram-and-Sumintra Baitha Murder Joint Struggle Committee Rautahat gheraoed DPO and staged a sit-in for about one-and-a-half hours chanting slogans against the police.

Police had arrested 19-year-old Bijaya Ram Chamar, of Garuda Municipality-8, Rautahat, along with six other suspects, in connection with the murder of Niranjan Ram, 20, of Jigadiya, Garuda Municipality, on August 15.

Bijaya, critically injured after physical torture at the hands of police during the investigation, died in the course of treatment at Birgunj-based National Medical College on August 26.

Angered by custodial death of the Dalit youth, Rautahat’s Dalit community launched a struggle from August 27 accusing the police of ‘murdering’ the youth.

“We’ve been trying to file an FIR against policemen involved in the murder for the last five days but to no avail. Even today police turned down our request,” said Dalit leader Dharmendra Paswan.

Dalit leaders have blamed then SP Rabiraj Khadka, Garuda Area Police Office DSP Gyankumar Mahato and eight others for the teenager’s death.

“After DPO refused to register our FIR, we went to the Government Attorney’s Office. As office hours were over by the time we reached the attorney’s office and we were given assurance that our FIR would be registered on Wednesday,” Paswan added.

Inspector Nabin Singh, head constables Hiroj Miya Dhaniya and Munnu Singh have been suspended while Nepal Police headquarters relieved incumbent police Chief Superintendent of Police Rabiraj Khadka of his responsibility after the agitation intensified.

Meanwhile, the agitating Dalits have also expressed concern about the critical condition of another person, Sikindar Ram, who was also detained with Bijaya, and have threatened to further intensify their agitation.